The Budget that the Chancellor delivered last week continued the Government’s plan to reduce the deficit and balance the books – as a country we are still spending around £1billion per week more than we earn and tough decisions need to be made in order to leave the country in a better state for our children and grandchildren.
However, there was still plenty of good news for Cornwall in the Budget.
First on the list is more money for our social care system. I was delighted that the Chancellor announced that an additional £2 billion will be given to councils in England over the next 3 years for adult social care.
We are all aware of the pressure our local care system in Cornwall has been under recently. I have worked with my Cornish MP colleagues to lobby the Government for more money for Cornwall and am pleased that we will be getting a sizeable share of this new pot of money.
Cornwall will be getting a total of almost £24 million over the next three years, £12,068,325 for this coming year, £7,939,590 for 2018/19 and £3,943,423 for 2019/20.
Cornwall Council can use this money to commission new care packages for the coming financial year. This will enable mainly frail, elderly people to be better supported in order to enable them to continue living safely at home and also, in particular, help reduce the number of older patients who get stuck in hospital – sometimes for many months – despite being medically fit to leave, because the current social care system in Cornwall fails to provide the support they need to return home.
This is great news and I look forward to working with Cornwall Council to ensure this money is spent sensibly for the benefit of those people who need it most.
We also saw good news on business rate for small businesses and local pubs. I am sure this will make a big positive difference to the many who have contacted me about this in recent months.
Under the new measures, any business coming out of small business rate relief will benefit from a cap which prevents the rate that it pays from going up by more than £50 per month. The Government will also provide a £1,000 discount on business rates bills for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, which includes 90 per cent of all pubs in England.
I am concerned about the proposed rise in National Insurance Contributions for those who are self-employed. I have already stated my opposition on this to the Government. I am pleased the Prime Minister has acknowledged the concerns that I and many Conservative MPs expressed and confirmed there will be a delay on a vote on this legislation while the impact is considered. I will make sure concerns of local self-employed people are heard as these discussions continue. If you are affected by these changes please get in touch and I will be more than happy to hear how you think they will impact upon you.
As always, my team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please contact me on either 01726 829379 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: www.stevedouble.org.uk/events