Budget rewards working hard

John Hayes
John Hayes

HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes

One of Charles Dickens’ most memorable and vividly drawn characters, the eternally optimistic Mr Micawber, offered his formula for contentment ...

It is only fair that all those who work hard should see a direct benefit in their pay packets

Annual income 20 pounds; annual expenditure 19 pounds, nineteen and six; result happiness. Annual income 20 pounds; annual expenditure 20 pounds ought and six; result misery.

In 2010, Britain faced a miserable future as a consequence of Gordon Brown’s reckless spending.

The principal task confronting the incoming chancellor was to bring the deficit under control. The fact that he achieved this – in a way that also encouraged effort and enterprise – now accounts for our nation’s enviable economic performance.

The British economy is growing faster than any other country in the G7, with unemployment at a record low and our standard of living going up.

Yet, Labour’s legacy of debt was so great that the new Conservative government still faces an enormous challenge to balance the books.

Last week, George Osborne unveiled the most significant budget for a generation.

The new compulsory national living wage of £9 an hour by 2020 will give 2.5 million people a pay rise.

It is only fair that all those who work hard should see a direct benefit in their pay packets. By making work pay, the chancellor has been able to reduce welfare spending and cap benefits at £20,000.

The budget was framed by the just intention that people who work hard deserve the state’s backing; the Government is making sure you keep more of your own money by raising the income tax threshold to £11,000.

The first budget of the new Parliament also embodies strategic thinking, with long-term decisions taken for the security of our economy; supporting savers by taking family homes out of inheritance tax, increasing the Government’s resources to pursue tax evaders and reducing our national debt.

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