LUDLOW MP Philip Dunne has said that the budget will bring real benefit to people in south Shropshire.

People living and working in south Shropshire will benefit from the Budget as the government delivers on the promises made to the British people, investing in infrastructure, the NHS and public services, claims Mr Dunne.

The Budget marks the start of record level of investment in the people’s priorities - infrastructure, the NHS and public services – to ensure the promises in the General Election in December are kept and the potential of every part of the United Kingdom, including the West Midlands, is unleashed.

“This was an extremely encouraging Budget from our new Chancellor, who has clearly taken to his new role with the enthusiasm and diligence for which he is known in Westminster,” said Mr Dunne.

“I am delighted the Chancellor Rishi Sunak acknowledged my efforts to secure more funding for flood affected communities, and announced £120m to repair damage flood defences, £200m for improving resilience in areas affected by repeated flooding, and doubling investment in flood defences over the next 6 years to £5.2bn.

“This includes at least £23 million of funding for the Severn Valley defences, which is extremely welcome.

“It was good to see an additional £54m funding for road maintenance from April 2020 for the West Midlands through the Pothole Fund. I shall be pushing for a fair share to come to Shropshire to tackle our serious road conditions.

“I am also pleased at the comprehensive support outlined for small businesses, not least in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak. The government will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors, introduce of a £5,000 rates discount for pubs, and offer £3,000 grants to those eligible for Small Business Rate Relief. This will be a significant boost for South Shropshire businesses.

“Much of the Budget measures will be paid for from the contribution which will no longer be paid to the EU, a whopping £14.6bn by 2024/25.”

Mr Dunne, who is Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, also welcomed environmental measures outlined in the Budget.

“I am also pleased to see the Chancellor start to deliver policies that will play a part in leaving our environment in a better state than we found it,” he added.

A new plastic packaging tax will reduce the amount of waste we produce, and doubling the size of the energy innovation programme will help put the UK at the forefront of new technologies. I also welcome support for cleaner cars, including over £500m to boost the fast-charging network for electric vehicles, and £640 million in tree planting and peatland restoration.”