The simple message from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement yesterday was that although the road to recovery is a long and difficult one we are making progress. I think the central choice facing the electorate at the next General election is already becoming clear. Continue along the road to recovery (despite it being long and difficult) or to turn back. A return to spending more and borrowing more would be a disaster. I think that once people consider this central question most will decide that it does not make sense to hand the reigns of power back to the Party which put us in this mess in the first place.
The Government has reduced the size of the budget deficit by a quarter in two years and the forecast is that the budget deficit will go on being reduced. Of course UK PLC will only be able to start paying off our debt once the deficit is cleared completely.
By making more savings from bureaucracy and from the benefits bill and by making the better of pay more the Chancellor has been able to do more to help hard working families and businesses.
Central to helping families with the cost of living the Chancellor has cancelled the 3p per litre increase in the price of fuel planned for next month. Next April the amount people can earn before paying tax will increase by £1,335, the largest ever cash rise. 24 million people in the Country will get a tax cut. The Government will have taken 2.2 million of the lowest paid workers out of tax altogether.
Billions of pounds more are to be spent on capital investment in science, education and new roads and to help British businesses compete a further 1p cut in the the Corporation Tax means that under this Government the headline rate of Corporation Tax will have fallen from 28% to 21%.
I know from my meetings with businesses in Bury that they will be particularly pleased with the ten fold increase in teh capital allowance available for small companies from £25,000 to £250,000. This will boost growth and be a real help to small companies wanting to invest in new plant and machinery.
Of course Labour will claim it could all be so much easier and the difficult decisions could all be avoided, well the electorate will be able to decide in 2015. Simple choice: continue on the road to recovery or turn back to the road to ruin