Stirling MP Stephen Kerr has welcomed the Chancellor’s 2018 Autumn Budget, delivered on Monday in the House of Commons. The centrepiece was an almost £1bn increase in funding for Scotland from Westminster, direct to the Scottish Government’s budget.
The budget also included a £1.7bn boost for Universal Credit, which will benefit 2.4million working families across the UK including many of the 1000 claimants in Stirling to the tune of £630 per year.
Freezes on Fuel, Spirit, and Beer duty were also announced, which will be good news for Stirling’s 100 public houses, two major Whisky distilleries, and increasing number of breweries.
Defence also benefited from the budget. £1.8bn worth of investment was pledged to bring the UK Armed Forces up to scratch for cyber and submarine warfare.
Last but not least, the Chancellor announced that business rates would drop by a THIRD for premises with a valuation of under £51000. However, this will only apply in England and Wales, not in Scotland where the business rates are devolved.
Stephen Kerr MP said:
“I welcome this budget as a great boost for not just Stirling but the whole UK. Measures introduced will protect us, keep our prices down, and help those most vulnerable in society.
A key part of the budget was the announcement that high street businesses would get a much needed reprieve. Cutting business rates by a third will seriously help shops compete in today’s economy, and it’s vitally important that the Scottish Government considers using some of the £1bn funding to apply their own cut in business rates.
Shops like Mcarees and Wilkies may not have closed down had this been in place.”