The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, delivered his Spring Statement on 13th March 2018, which was warmly welcomed by local MP, Giles Watling.
The Chancellor told the House that the economy is set to grow more strongly than previously thought, and that the economy has now grown for eight consecutive years. With debt now beginning to fall, the Chancellor also celebrated the longest consecutive period in manufacturing growth for fifty years, with high-tech manufacturing sectors growing strongly since 2010. Moreover, disposable income per person is now 4.4% higher in real terms than it was in 2010, while income inequality is lower than in 2010 and is close to its lowest level since the mid-1980s
During the statement, Giles asked the Chancellor: “What plans does he have to support our vital £90-billion creative industries sector, which is growing in my constituency of Clacton?”
In his reply, the Chancellor set out that: “Creative industries is an increasingly important part of the UK economy, and one in which we have a significant comparative advantage, and the best way the Government can support the creative industries, apart from the obvious one of training and skilling, is through supporting the roll-out of digital technologies on which so many of the creative industries these days depend.”
The Chancellor was also clear that if, in the Autumn, the public finances continue to reflect the improvements set out in the Spring Statement, then, in accordance with the Government’s balanced approach, there would be capacity to enable further increases in public spending and investment in the years ahead. This would be delivered alongside a continued to drive value for money to ensure that not a single penny of precious taxpayers’ money is wasted.
“This Spring Statement reports on our progress creating a country that works for everyone.
“We have already made great progress. 44,034 residents in Clacton are now benefiting from recent increases in the income tax personal allowance, and the youth claimant rate is now 44% lower than it was in 2010. Moreover, 6,510 more local pupils are now attending good or outstanding schools, and first-time buyers can save £2,325 on average, thanks to the Stamp Duty cut announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget.
“With the public finances, we’re at a turning point; debt is beginning to fall – the first sustained fall in debt in 17 years. We’ve reduced our deficit by £108 billion over the last seven years thanks to the hard work of the British people; while since Labour’s manifesto was published last year, they’ve committed to spending £106 billion – blowing away eight years of hard work in just nine months.
“I would like to thank the Chancellor for his reassurance that the Government will continue to support our vital creative industries sector, and I am pleased that we have made so much progress in regaining control of our public finances whilst investing in our public services; investing in our economy to create better, higher-paying jobs; and supporting families with the cost of living.”
Watch Giles question the Chancellor here