Burnley MP says Ukraine and Covid were backdrop to Autumn Statement

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham has given his thoughts on today’s Autumn Statement from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Delivering the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced measures aimed at curbing double digit inflation whilst protecting key public services such as schools and local NHS provision.

Mr Higginbotham said: “We're all aware of how Putin's invasion of Ukraine is impacting global food and energy prices, and matched with that we have the aftereffects of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the record borrowing we had to undertake to protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods.

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“With that as a backdrop, and economic headwinds now turning dramatically with inflation and interest rates rising all across the West, the Government has got to adapt and put us on a clear and sustainable path forward. That's what today was about and it's what the Chancellor has done.

Burnley MP Antony HigginbothamBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

“But it’s also vital that support is provided to families across Burnley and Padiham. I’m particularly pleased to see that the state pension will be increased by just over 10%. And that additional support will be rolled out for the most vulnerable in the form of further Cost of Living Payments, alongside a cap on energy bills until 2024. This is in addition to another £1 billion provided to local Councils in discretionary cost of living support.

“Residents will have seen that I’ve been visiting many of our local schools over the last year and so increasing education funding to give young people the skills they need, alongside a boost to our local NHS budget is extremely welcomed too. Although the Labour Party may attack these sensible measures, which I saw myself today in Parliament, I have yet to see a proper plan from them on how they would tackle this unique economic situation.”

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Welcome news for over 16,000 families in Burnley and Padiham as second Cost of L...

£12 billion of extra targeted support will be provided next year for those on low incomes, the vulnerable and pensioners, on top of the cost of living payments being provided this year. It means additional payments of £900 for people on means-tested benefits, £300 for pensioners, and £150 for disabled people to help with their energy bills.

This is on top of the uprating of benefits in line with inflation and protecting the pensions Triple Lock.

Every household within the borough will also be supported with higher energy bills following the announcement that the Energy Price Guarantee will be extended until April 2024, with a price cap increase from April 2023 meaning a typical household’s energy bills will be capped at £3,000.

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The plan for stabilising the economy and protecting the public finances involves a roughly equal split between tax rises and spending cuts.

Windfall taxes on energy companies are being extended and increased, and instead of raising personal tax rates, the Government is freezing personal tax thresholds for a further two years.

It has announced that the Additional Rate threshold will be reformed, so that a taxpayer who earns more than £150,000 will pay £1,200 more in tax per year. Changes to the dividends allowance and Capital Gains Tax Annual Exemption Amount will mean the greatest burden falling on those who can afford it most.

This will support boosting growth, with £600 billion in capital investment over the next five years protected, and a £14 billion business rates cuts package to support high street businesses.