MP Julian Huppert has welcomed moves in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement to help small businesses and support research and development and apprenticeships.
Julian said the decision to double the small business rate relief and give High Street shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes a bigger discount on rates is good news and will particularly give much needed help to the country’s independent traders.
And he said the increase in research and development tax credits would be welcomed in Cambridge and help to keep Britain’s place at the forefront of innovation.
Julian, who has been pushing to get funding for postgraduate students, also welcomed the move to give them up to £10,000 through a government loan scheme similar to that for undergraduates.
“This was a good Autumn Statement for business,” said Julian. “It shows that our government recognises the advances that we have made in getting our economy back on its feet and how important it is to make sure businesses can continue to grow and provide jobs.
“I am delighted that the Chancellor has agreed to remove National Insurance payments for businesses taking on young apprentices. Our apprenticeship programme has been a huge success both in Cambridge and nationally with two million people now getting training through an apprenticeship. I am confident this move will encourage other companies to see the huge benefits of this scheme.
“Workers will also benefit from the decision to increase the personal tax allowance to £10,600 lifting more of the lower paid out of paying tax altogether and giving ordinary workers more of their hard-earned wages.
“And I am pleased that students can now go further in education with the support of a government loan scheme for postgraduate students. I have been campaigning for this and it is good to see that it is going to happen. It will be a big weight off the shoulders of many students especially those from poorer backgrounds.”
Julian added that using £1.2 billion from the fines imposed on banks for the foreign exchange scandal to invest in GP services was also welcome as was the decision to give carers a £2,000 employment allowance.
“Our carers do a fantastic job looking after family and friends with very little reward,” said Julian. “I am pleased the Chancellor has taken his lead from the Lib Dems after we flagged up the great work they do with plans for a Carer’s Bonus.”