Like any Budget there were big ticket items that will affect people nationwide, but there are also commitments that are more specific to certain regions.
For example, there has been new funding allocated for the expanded Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, with £660 million additional funding provided for the British Business Bank. The fund aims to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the North, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses.
The business rate cuts for retail will have a positive impact on our local economy. As called for by business organisations, these reliefs represent a new £750 million tax cut on investment. And to further support investment we are extending the £1 million Annual Investment Allowance for a further 15 months. There is also a business rates relief extension for regional airports of six months which will benefit Carlisle airport, equivalent to a full business rates holiday for almost all regional airports.
The freeze in fuel duty will be welcomed by constituents of Penrith and The Border. So often a car is the plausible mode of transport around in rural communities. Whilst an announcement that will benefit all combustion engine vehicle drivers, it is something that is acutely felt in rural and sparsely populated areas.
Funding that has already been announced but is certainly worth reiterating is the £5 billion for Project Gigabit, rolling out gigabit capable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK and £24 billion for strategic roads investment including the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project.
Dr Hudson said:
“There were a number of important announcements in the yesterday’s budget that will help businesses and individuals across Penrith and The Border recover for the pandemic. I am glad that the government has listened to calls from myself and others for business relief, cuts in beer duty and small business finance. The benefits are clear, for example; the cuts to beer duty will help protect local pubs, which are the centre of so many of the communities, providing a meeting place for local people but also several jobs to local residents. We are also introducing a new Draught Relief which will apply a new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider – cutting duty by 5 per cent, the biggest cut to cider duty since 1923 and the biggest cut to beer duty for 50 years.
I think this Budget strikes the right balance of increasing spending in the areas which need it most but also being careful not to threaten the recovery by committing too much money which would be unsustainable in the long run. I will continue to champion the interests of Penrith and The Border at Westminster and call for more targeted support.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak added:
“This Budget and Spending Review delivers a stronger economy for people in the Northwest–strengthening our public finances, helping working families meet the cost of living, supporting businesses, delivering stronger public services, and driving economic growth. This is a Budget which will level up the North West. It is a Budget which provides the foundations for a stronger economy.”