TAUNTON MP Rebecca Pow has voiced her support for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement announced in the Commons yesterday (Thursday, November 17).
Here is her full statement.
“In recent weeks I’ve been meeting with constituents and local businesses to discuss the challenges they are facing and feeding in these concerns to the Chancellor and the Treasury team.
“I’m really pleased the Autumn Statement addresses many of the concerns I raised and will help many people get through the difficult months ahead.
“The statement is a realistic response to the tough global economic situation but also with a compassionate conservative streak running throughout.
“It ensures that the greatest burden will fall on those who can afford it most.
“In this respect the Energy Profits Levy rate (which relates to oil companies amongst others) will rise from 25 per cent to 35 per cent and will continue until the end of March 2028.
“A 45 per cent levy will also be applied to extraordinary returns made by electricity generators.
“In total these windfall taxes will raise £52billion over six years.
“I welcome the increase in funds for our hard working schools and our NHS to the tune of an extra £11billion over the next two years.
“I have also flagged the negative knock-on affects caused by not being able to get patients out of hospital and into the care system and am pleased the Chancellor has allocated £1.6billion over the next two years to help get the system moving, get people into care settings and free up NHS beds for those that need them.
“The most vulnerable are also being helped through confirmation that benefits will be uprated by the rate of inflation, with further cost of living payments also being made next year for vulnerable households.
“This area was highlighted to me recently at a meeting with Citizens Advice, Taunton, and the Treasury team listened to the case I made following this meeting.
“Good news too for the ageing population here in Somerset with the pension triple lock being protected.
“I know this will be a great relief to so many pensioners across Taunton Deane who expressed concerns about possible cuts.
“Importantly, the Office for Budget Responsibility expects the total package to reduce peak inflation and unemployment.
“The Bank of England also expects this package to help keep interest rates lower for borrowers and mortgage holders.”