The Spring Budget 2017 is focused on delivering the Government’s vision of a stronger, fairer Britain that works for everyone. New measures have been announced that will help hard-working families here in Great Yarmouth, with a focus on building an economy that is fit for the future by investing in education and skills, and giving our children the opportunities they need to succeed. Here’s what you need to know:
The economic forecast
The economy is now forecast to grow by 2% in 2017, and employment is at a record high with 31.8 million people now in employment.
Cutting borrowing and reducing the deficit
This year the UK will borrow £1 for every £15 spent – in 2009/10 this figure was £1 in every £5. The Government is delivering on our pledge to reduce the deficit and ensure our future generations have a secure future.
Tax-Free Childcare for working parents
Childcare is a concern for families in Great Yarmouth and across the country. Tax-Free Childcare will provide up to £2,000 a year in childcare for every child under 12, and up to £4,000 for disabled children up to the age of 17.
All eligible parents will be able to access the scheme by the end of the year.
Working parents in England will also be able to apply for 30 hours of free childcare a week, doubling the 15 hours currently available.
Adult social care investment
The Government will be spending an extra £2 billion on social care over the next three years, reducing the burden on the NHS and assisting councils with providing quality social care for residents.
More free school investment
We have some fantastic free schools in Norfolk, and a further £320 million has been announced for new free schools, giving parents and pupils greater choice in their education.
A further £216 million will be spent on school maintenance.
£500 million investment in technical education for 16-19-year-olds
From autumn 2019, new T-levels for 16-19-year-old technical students will be introduced, with courses available in areas such as construction, digital and agriculture.
Students will take part in industry work placements as part of their course. The Government will provide maintenance loans for those completing higher-level technical courses at National Colleges and Institutes of Technology, similar to those available for university students.
Support for businesses
The Government has announced measures to reduce the burden on businesses affected by the business rates relief revaluation.
£435 million is being made available, meaning that no small business coming out of small business rates relief will pay more than £600 extra in business rates this year than they did in 2016/17.
Local authorities will also have access to a £300 million fund, allowing them to provide discretionary relief to businesses most affected by the revaluation.