MP welcomes Autumn Statement support for pensioners and police

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FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has welcomed support for pensioners and the police in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement.

The Member of Parliament was speaking after the Rt Hon George Osborne MP announced his spending plans to the House of Commons.

One of the highlights of the speech saw the Chancellor announce a rise in the basic state pension by £3.35 a week to £119.30, the largest increase in 15 years. That means pensioners are now £1,125 a year better off than they were in 2010.

Mr Menzies said: “Older people in this country have worked hard all their lives and deserve to be able to live with dignity and peace as they reach pension age.

“This Government has proven in the past its strong support for pensioners and this rise in the basic rate, the largest in 15 years, shows we are committed to making life better for our older generation.”

Today’s Autumn Statement also saw the Chancellor announce there would be no reduction in police budgets, following months of speculation over expected cuts.

Mr Menzies added: “I know the local constabulary in Lancashire has been extremely vocal in its opposition to cuts in police budgets and local MPs recently met with the Policing Minister to raise our concerns.

“I am glad the Government has listened to us and protected frontline police services. This comes at the same time as vital investment in state-of-the-art mobile communications for emergency services, new technology at our borders, and a 30 per cent rise in the counter-terrorism budget.”

Meanwhile, the Government has listened to concerns surround Tax Credit cuts and the Chancellor also announced the benefit would be protected while forecast welfare savings would come from other areas.

Mr Menzies said: “This is a Government which believes in social justice and the Chancellor has listened to people who had real concerns over what those reductions could do to their family budget.

“Families should also be helped by the largest ever investment in free childcare. That means funding 30 hours free for working families of three and four year olds from early 2017, and supporting £10,000 of childcare costs tax-free, available to parents with incomes below £100,000.”

The Chancellor highlighted the importance of world-class infrastructure for a country of Britain’s stature and announced an increase to the Department for Transport’s capital spending by 50 per cent to £61bn – the biggest increase in a generation.

Mr Menzies added: “This will help us deliver the largest road building programme since the 1970s, begin construction of HS2, electrify rail lines, spend £300 million on cycling projects and introduce a permanent pothole fund as part of a £5bn increase in roads maintenance spending this parliament.

“The Government is clearly backing major infrastructure and transport projects and we need councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships to now show they have the ability to deliver in these vital areas.”

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