With the words delivered by the Chancellor, ‘And I commend this Budget to the House,’ the Commons erupted into cheers, and rightly so.
Truly this Budget was one for working people – a Budget for South Shields.
One of the headline measures was, rightly, a new compulsory National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour, starting in April 2016 and rising to £9 an hour by 2020.
I don’t think it needs explaining as to how this will help every working man and women in South Shields.
The tax-free Personal Allowance will rise to £11,000 in April 2016.
This is the Conservatives taking the poorest out of income tax altogether, and giving every other taxpayer a little more money in their pocket.
With 30 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds, the Conservatives are supporting families, encouraging both parents to work – reducing financial burdens on mams and dads.
Public sector pay will increase by 1% a year for four years from 2016.
The nurses in South Tyneside General, the policemen on the beat and our firemen are being rewarded for both their indispensable service and for persevering through tough budget cuts to fix the hole in the proverbial fiscal roof.
Three million new apprenticeships will be created by 2020.
The Conservatives are helping the young of South Shields get on in life.
A 1% cut in social housing rent each year for four years, for the many social housing tenants of South Shields, will be welcome news from the Conservatives.
The Ministry of Defence’s budget will rise by 0.5% above inflation each year to 2020.
The Government will meet the NATO pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defence every year of this decade.
There are other measures – brilliant ones – which I have not mentioned but to which I refer readers.
The Conservatives have again, with this Budget, stood in defiance of the baseless accusations of the Left.
If the people of South Shields want to see the real face of conservatism they must watch Iain Duncan Smith’s reaction to the Chancellor’s announcement of the National Living Wage: elation.
Conservatives might not go about achieving social justice in the same big-government, Keynesian ways as the Labour Party but the voters of South Shields should think seriously about rewarding the Conservatives’ (far more successful) efforts at achieving it – efforts espoused in the Budget.
South Shields Conservative Future.