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Henry Smith MP: More money for more people

In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about last weeks budget.

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This week I voted for the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget, which included cuts to income tax, backing for the high street and support with the cost of living.

The Budget fulfils a manifesto promise on reducing income tax – and does so a year early.

From April 2019, the tax-free Personal Allowance will increase to £12,500 one year early, saving a typical basic rate taxpayer £130 compared to 2018-19 and more than £1,200 since 2010-11.

An additional £1 billion of funding will see support for local authorities with £650 million for social care, £84 million for children’s social care programmes over five years and £420 million to tackle potholes this year.

Crawley residents on the National Living Wage will see an almost 5 per cent pay rise, with the NLW increasing from £7.83 to £8.21. This will benefit around 2.4 million workers and delivers a £690 annual pay rise to a full-time employee, taking the total annual pay rise since its introduction to £2,750.

Small retail businesses will see business rates bills slashed by a third for two years from April 2019, saving them over £900 million. High streets will benefit from £675 million to improve transport links, re-develop empty shops as homes and offices, and restore and re-use old and historic properties.

Fuel duty is being frozen for the ninth year, saving the average car driver a cumulative £1,000 since 2010. A further year’s freeze on beer, cider and spirits duty saves 2 pence on a pint of beer and 30 pence on a bottle of Scotch or gin.

The need for financial discipline remains. This Government’s balanced approach to the economy while getting debt down, or Jeremy Corbyn’s programme of irresponsibility which would cost some £3,500 per household per year. This is our nation’s choice.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith remembers D-Day.

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In the days ahead, the eyes of the western world will be on Portsmouth and Normandy, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 to liberate north west Europe from German occupation.

This was an international effort, with Allied forces consisting primarily of American, British and Canadian troops. The international focus on remembrance is therefore not only appropriate, but right.

There are also thoughts and thanks to be given closer to home. I have enjoyed reading about Eric Strange, now 95, who is from Crawley and served as a Sub Lieutenant in the Navy, sailing from Portsmouth on D-Day.

The importance of remembering what has been given for our freedom is not lost on me. The Palace of Westminster was bombed during the Second World War, and the arch leading to the House of Commons chamber was rebuilt at Churchill’s suggestion, from the original bomb-scarred stone.

This continues to offer a reminder to myself and other MPs, and indeed to a whole range of visitors to Parliament, of the impact of war and the strength of those who emerged victorious.

On Thursday 6th June I will take a moment to think of Eric and his comrades who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice; without whom the freedoms and democracy we enjoy today would not exist.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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