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Westminster Column


On Wednesday 20 March, the Chancellor delivered the Budget for 2013 which sets out the economic plan to take the right decisions in the long-term interests of the UK whilst at the same time introducing measures designed to keep costs low for families and businesses in Britain.

The 2013 Budget:
Backs Families

  • The Budget offers tax-free childcare from 2015. The Government will pay 20 per cent of a working family’s childcare bills each year – up to £1,200 per child.

Backs Britain’s hard-workers

  • The Budget raises the Personal Tax Allowance to £10,000 from April 2014. Individuals will pay £700 less in Income Tax than they did in 2010.
  • This tax cut will benefit an estimated 34,260 people in Sutton Coldfield. In April 2014, 371 people will be lifted out of Income Tax, taking the total number of people in Sutton Coldfield lifted out of tax by this Government to an estimated 3,966.

Backs home-buyers

  • The Budget will help more people get onto the housing ladder. The Government has put forward £3.5 billion to give people equity loans of up to 20 per cent to help them buy newly built homes.

Backs job-seekers & British businesses

  • A new Employment Allowance will take £2,000 off the National Insurance Bill of every employer – open to businesses, charities and community amateur sports clubs. This will help 70,000 employers in the West Midlands taking 35,000 out of having to pay any tax on jobs at all. This announcement was endorsed by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. In addition Corporation Tax will be cut to 20 per cent by 2015.

Backs drivers

  • The Budget has frozen Fuel Duty. Pump prices will be 13 pence lower than under Labour’s plans leaving the average motorist with £170 more in their pocket over a year. This is the longest freeze in Duty for over 20 years and will benefit 3.5 million motorists in the West Midlands.

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I also want to touch upon the excellent of work of Lord Heseltine in his recent publication, ‘No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth’, particularly in reference to Birmingham, on setting out what we can do in local economies to ensure that growth is boosted.

The Government has accepted in full or in part the majority of Lord Heseltine’s recommendations. Most significantly, the Chancellor has accepted the recommendation for a single-pot of central money to support local initiatives dedicated to promoting regional economic growth.

I have, in recent months, met with Lord Heseltine, the Chief Executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Jerry Blackett, Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Sir Albert Bore, and the Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Andy Street, when I have taken the opportunity to echo the emphasis Lord Heseltine places on more effective governance in our region to address the fragmentation and lack of coherence of the business voice in Birmingham.

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Whilst it has been a tougher road than anyone hoped we are making progress and this Budget will keep Britain on the right track.



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