Autumn Statement measures will 'get country on road to recovery' - despite tough decisions, says South Tyneside Conservative
South Tyneside’s only Conservative politician has said the Government’s tax and spending plans announced this week will get the UK ‘back on the road to recovery’ – despite some tough decisions.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt gave his Autumn Statement on Thursday, November 17, setting out the Government’s plans to get the country back on track after the chaos following the ‘mini-budget’ set out by his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng under Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Key measures included freezing the threshold at which people pay tax until April 2028, meaning millions of people will pay more, keeping the ‘triple lock’ on pension rises, so pensioners get a 10.1% rise in their weekly payments, and a slower rise in spending on public services than planned.
The household energy price cap was extended for one year beyond April 2023, but typical bills capped at £3,000 a year instead of £2,500
Additional cost-of-living payments for the ‘most vulnerable’ were set out, with £900 for those on benefits, and £300 for pensioners.
The top rate of income tax, which sits at 45%, will be paid on earnings over £125,140, instead of £150,000.
Windfall tax on oil and gas firms will increase from 25% to 35%, raising £55billion from this year until 2028.
There was also a minimum wage increase for over-23s, up from £9.50 to £10.42 an hour.
Conservative councillor Ian Forster, who represents Cleadon and East Boldon, on South Tyneside council, praised the measures.
He said: “Without doubt the Chancellor made some tough decisions to get the country back on the road of recovery.
"Higher taxes for those that can afford it most and budget increases for schools and the Health Service will be decisions most people will agree with.
"I think most people will agree that the two main causes of the present economic problems are the cost of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
"However decisions to raise pensions, benefits and the minimum wage will be welcomed.”
He said the ‘immediate future’ for people in the UK will be tough, but added: "I trust the new Prime Minister and Chancellor to get a grip on inflation and steer the country in the right direction to secure stability and growth which will benefit us all .