Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride, who also serves as a minister in HM Treasury has welcomed the budget delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond today (22/11/17) and described it as especially good news for Devon.

    Mr Stride, who has served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury since June, welcomed the focus on housing and the NHS. He said:

    “The Chancellor reported today on an economy that continues to confound those who talk our country down, with another 600,000 people forecast to be in work by 2022 and annual borrowing down to £49.9billion this year - £8.4billion lower than was forecast in March. The announcement of £2.8billion extra funding for the NHS to 2019-20, including £350million to address pressures this winter, plus another £10billion in capital to upgrade buildings and facilities is vitally important, as is the raft of measures to boost house-building and help more young families own their own home.”

    Among the various measures being introduced Mr Stride highlighted the abolition of Stamp Duty for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000 and the use of compulsory purchase orders to stop developers sitting on land earmarked for development for financial reasons as particularly significant. He continued:

    “The Chancellor has also frozen fuel duty again, frozen duty on beer, wine and spirits, and increased the amount you can earn before paying income tax to £11,850 which will take more low-paid workers out of paying income tax altogether. With Devon having relatively low average wages but relatively high house prices, a lot of residents who rack up thousands of miles a year commuting and many small villages desperate to hang on to their last pub, a lot of the measures introduced today add up to being very good news for our county.”

    Photo: Mel being interviewed on Channel 4 on Wednesday 22nd November about the Chancellor’s Budget.