Budget measures will help local folk

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THE big event recently in Westminster was undoubtedly the Budget.

Sitting in the chamber of the House of Commons, you really do get the sense of what an important occasion the Budget is.

This year, we all knew the Chancellor didn’t have much room for manoeuvre as the UK still struggles to reduce our budget deficit and bring the record level of national debt under control.

However, despite little wiggle room I was pleased with a number of measures he announced that I think will help local people.

After years of rises in your Council Tax, this year we have made sure that it is frozen.

There are above inflation rises in Child Tax Credits of £180 this year and £110 next year.

The Winter Fuel Allowance has been protected and the free TV licenses and Bus Passes are here to stay.

One of the most important changes, which will help many people in Fleetwood, is that the threshold at which you have to start paying income tax has been raised to £8,105.

This means that from next year, hundreds of people in Fleetwood: shop workers, dinner ladies, care workers and many part-time employees will pay no income tax at all, saving many of the lowest paid workers up to £300 a year.

I really do appreciate that petrol and diesel remain a huge expense for many in Fleetwood.

But after years of seeing duty on petrol increasing, it made a welcome change to see it go in the other way.