The forthcoming Budget

It was a pleasure to welcome the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to the constituency earlier this month to speak at a local Conservative Party event in the Forest of Dean. The Chancellor’s timely visit coincides with the first Budget of this Parliament. Later this week, he will deliver his Budget Statement to the House of Commons, after which MPs will debate its measures. This column goes to print before the Budget is delivered – however, I wanted to take the opportunity to look back at this Government’s economic record.

Over 1,000 jobs a day have been created by businesses since 2010, when the Conservatives most recently came to office. Unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975. We have provided more people with job security and regular pay packets, enabling them to get on in life and build a better future for themselves and their families. This has been seen in the Forest of Dean too – with unemployment having more than halved since 2010, and fallen by 11% since last year.

This Government has committed to improving our public services. We have protected and increased health funding to record levels and as a result NHS patient satisfaction is at its highest for more than two decades.

We are also giving more money to schools than ever before. Our goal is to build an education system which unlocks the potential of every child as well as providing them with the skills they need. In July the Department for Education announced an additional £1.3 billion spending on schools, which means we will maintain per pupil funding after allowing for inflation.

We are dedicated to building the homes this country needs so everyone can afford a place to call their own. In the last few years, we have seen annual house building starts increase by 30 percent, almost 300,000 affordable homes built in England and more people getting on the property ladder thanks to schemes such as Help to Buy and the reinvigoration of Right to Buy. However, more still needs to be done. In order to achieve this, the Government published a Housing White Paper earlier this year - an ambitious plan to build the homes Britain needs and create a housing market which works for all.

This Government has a record to be proud of and it is only the Conservatives that will continue building an economy fit for the future and get the best Brexit deal for Britain.