I thought it would be useful to my constituents to set out recent changes to tax and welfare policies.
Last week, the Personal Allowance – the amount you earn before you start paying income tax – increased to £12,500. We are delivering this promise one year early; ensuring that those who earn the least pay no tax at all.
The Higher Rate Threshold in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland also increased to £50,000. Both of these changes will cut taxes for 32 million people and take 1.74 million people out of income tax altogether compared to 2015-16.
In addition, the National Living Wage saw its biggest ever increase giving almost 2 million people a pay rise. The National Living Wage went from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, representing an increase to a full-time minimum wage worker of over £690 a year.
From this week, the annual work allowances in Universal Credit will rise by over £1,000, increasing the amount that 2.4 million households can earn annually before their Universal Credit starts to be withdrawn; making sure that work always pays.
A Conservative Government will build a stronger and fairer economy by cutting taxes for families and businesses, while reducing the deficit and getting debt falling. To that end, business rates have been cut by 1/3 for up to 90 per cent of all retail properties. The discount will apply to any retail property with a rateable value below £51,000, up to State aid minimum limits.
The Government has also frozen fuel duty for the ninth year in a row – keeping the costs of driving down.
In my experience as a constituency MP, the cost of living is near the top of many peoples’ concerns. I have always been clear that we do not help people with their cost of living by putting their taxes up. That is why I welcome the Government’s recent changes to tax policies.
Because of the Conservatives’ careful management of the economy, we can invest more in our vital public services whilst also keeping taxes low, supporting living standards and backing business.