Autumn Budget 2021: Havering MPs share their reaction

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his Budget to the House of Commons in London. Pic

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget to the House of Commons on October 27. - Credit: PA

Havering politicians have responded to the autumn Budget and spending review, which promised to help families meet the rising cost of living.  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the government’s spending plans in the House of Commons on Wednesday (October 27).  

In the Budget, Mr Sunak focused on plans to help the economy recover from the impact of Covid, which included the announcement of £5.9 billion to be pumped into the NHS to help clear treatment backlogs.  

Aiming to support families in need, the chancellor said the Universal Credit taper rate will be reduced from 63 per cent to 55pc.  

In response to this, a spokesperson for Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said: “Andrew was pleased to see some pro-business, pro-work policies such as the reduction to the Universal Credit taper, meaning some of the poorest will keep more of their monthly pay packet and the cut to business rates, which should help spur business in Romford.”

But Mr Rosindell’s spokesperson added that he was “disappointed” that amid an “enormous amount of spending, money couldn’t be found to fix Gallows Corner”.  

They added: “Without a fix to this notorious junction, levelling up will feel like an empty slogan to his constituents.” 

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MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas criticised the budget saying that ahead of a tough winter where there are high levels of “food and fuel poverty” across the boroughs of Dagenham and Rainham, the budget will deliver “very little for ordinary people”.  

Mr Cruddas said the budget instead prioritises “tax breaks for big companies while hitting working families with a record increase in national insurance”.  

Calling it a “smoke and mirrors budget”, Mr Cruddas said as the cost of living rises the “promise of increasing the national minimum wage is a positive step”, but added that it follows “cuts to Universal Credit, tax hike and soaring energy prices”.  

The cash available to help clear test backlogs such as MRI scans is a result of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 1.25 per cent national insurance hike which will be in place from April 2022.  

"In contrast to this Conservative government, Labour will tax fairly, spend wisely, and get our economy firing on all cylinders,” added Mr Cruddas.  

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez said the budget focuses on how “we deliver a stronger economy and more effective public services”, following the pandemic.  

Mr Sunak claims his budget will deliver an economy “fit for a new age of optimism” stating that this would include “higher wages, higher skills and rising productivity”.  

In agreement Ms Lopez said “more people are in work and growth is up” but she contemplated that in the next stage of recovery from the pandemic “we need to make sure people, services and businesses are supported”.  

A temporary relief, capped at £110,000, has been provided to pubs, cinemas and restaurants which can call benefit from the planned tax relief of a 50pc cut next year.  

Ms Lopez said: “Of particular importance to Hornchurch and Upminster is the business rates cut to support local shops, pubs, restaurants, and gyms.  

“I am glad to see more funding for schools, early years, and special needs education, and investment in skills so that people can access the jobs available."

Mr Sunak also announced the increase in living wage from £8.91 to £9.50 per hour from April 1, 2022.  

In response Ms Lopez said: “The continued freezing of fuel duty, increase in living wage to £9.50, and the cut in the Universal Credit taper will be make a difference to working families.”  

She added: “The confirmation of five community diagnostic centres for London is really important” in tacking the pandemic health backlog. 

And said she is glad to see the new Thames Freeport, which will begin operating in November, “will be one of the country’s first tax sites and that transport infrastructure like the Lower Thames Crossing is being supported”.  

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