Your Member of Parliament for Harrow East

Andrew Percy MP

Debate on the Budget

Bob welcomed the move to raise the tax thresholds to take me people out of tax, more people having more money in their pockets and the freedom to spend that money, is a thoroughly conservative means of governing. Bob called for measures in the next Budget that increase the tax threshold at which people pay 40%, so that those on reasonably well-paid jobs can gain substantially as the economy improves.

As an MP proud to represent a constituency in London, Bob concentrated his remarks on the impact the Budget will have to London. The myth is often put about by people from outside London that everyone is paid huge amounts of money in London. That is not so. With the increase in the personal allowance to £9,205, an additional 97,000 people in London will be taken out of income tax altogether, and overall 3 million taxpayers in London will benefit—more than half the working population of London will get a tax cut as a result of the Budget.

The increase in the Growing Places fund—the additional £70 million being put in the hands of the Mayor of London—will enable Boris Johnson, over the next four years, to create 200,000 new jobs for people not currently in employment. Even more importantly, the money will enable more and more young people to get and retain work. Furthermore, an extra 7,500 new jobs will be created as a direct result of the enhanced capital allowance for the Royal Docks enterprise zone. Even better, 1,600 of the jobs will be in high-value manufacturing, which is good news for Londoners all round.

The transport investment plan announced in the Budget will benefit Londoners overall. Already, every London local authority has frozen council tax, which is good news for hard-pressed families, and the Mayor of London has reduced his share of the council tax. Effectively, then, every family in London has had a council tax reduction overall.

Bob welcomed the fact that London will be one of the super-connected cities. The £25 million to deliver ultra-fast broadband will benefit 774,000 residents and 121,000 businesses. That will put London at the forefront and enable it to compete with the rest of the world’s greatest cities. It means that 318,000 people will benefit directly from ultra-fast broadband and wireless connectivity, and that we will be at the very heart of generating new jobs and new prosperity for this country.

A believer in the benefits of safe cycling, Bob welcomed the £15 million that will be spent on improving safety for cyclists in London. The increase in cycling in London is welcome, but the fact that people are in danger when they cycle has to be addressed. That is a key part of the Budget.

Finally, on the benefits to London, money has been set aside for the new east London crossings—a ferry, a tunnel and possibly a bridge. All in all, then, the Budget benefits London and Londoners, and brings home to everyone the importance of the choice they make on 3 May. Do they go back to the bad old days of Ken Livingstone, or do they look to the future with Boris Johnson?

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