Last week, I spoke in the House of Commons during the debate on the Government’s Finance Bill. This is a very important piece of legislation, which contains several crucial measures to support employment and economic growth.
First, I set out why I support the Chancellor’s decision to cut the higher rate of income tax. Since Labour froze this threshold, inflation has lifted more and more people – including local deputy head teachers and local GPs – into the higher rate who were never meant to be paying it.
The same goes for business taxes. In his Budget, Philip Hammond unveiled plans to cut business rates by a third for almost half a million high-street shops across the country. This will be a major boon to small and independent retailers, and help to protect the unique and diverse characters of our high streets.
Finally, I called for more action to support the motor industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports. Whilst welcoming the decision to freeze fuel duty for the ninth year running, I strongly believe we need to do more to encourage motorists to switch to ‘clean diesel’ cars like those produced by Jaguar Land Rover at Lode Lane.
In some other local news, I was proud to join local residents in Shirley last weekend to commemorate one hundred years since the end of the First World War. It was a very moving ceremony, especially hearing the names of all the men and boys from our community who died in service read aloud.
I believe very strongly that one of the most important things about remembrance is that it inspires us to do right by our soldiers today.
This spirit has been much in evidence over the last couple of weeks, and ministers have announced several important new measures to support ex-servicemen and women. These include a new, UK-wide Veterans’ Strategy and plans to use overseas aid funding to support former soldiers from the Commonwealth who have retired overseas.
For my part, I will continue to use my role as your MP to stand up for soldiers, and to push for laws which support Solihull’s key industries and exporters.
Originally published in the Solihull News, 23/11/18.