Budget 2018: Welwyn Hatfield MP’s thoughts on NHS funding, High Street help and Universal Credit

MP Grant Shapps

MP Grant Shapps


Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps is “thrilled” after it was announced the NHS, which once saved his life, will see a record rise in funding.

Yesterday Philip Hammond delivered his third Budget as chancellor and particularly happy with the outcome is MP Grant Shapps.

Mr Hammond confirmed that an extra £20.5 billion would go to the NHS over the next five years.

The MP told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that he was “absolutely thrilled” to support the record rise in NHS funding after it saved his life when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at just 31 years of age.

Mr Shapps also said the tax-cut was “great news” for everyone in work, because people will earn up to £12,500 without paying any tax from next April.

He added: “We have raised this tax-free threshold from less than £6,500 when we came to power.”

Speaking of the move to introduce a new tax to collect hundreds-of-millions from internet giants, he said: “These internet giants have creatively avoided paying very much tax at all.

“I think this will be very popular.”

Following the chancellor announcing that the controversial Universal Credit system is “here to stay”, Mr Shapps said: “The Universal Credit is a good idea in principle because it means people no longer caught in a benefits trap.

“However, underfunding was in danger of giving it a bad reputation, so I was pleased to see £1.7bn more going into ensuring that work really will pay under a much fairer system.”

Regarding business rates, the chancellor revealed that:

• £900m in business rates relief for small businesses and £650m to rejuvenate High Streets

• Business rates bill for firms with a rateable value of £51,000 or less to be cut by third over two years

With Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City town centres struggling, Mr Shapps said it is “great” to see that high streets shops in the borough will get a “big boost”.

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