17 November 2022
Dunne Welcomes Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt today set out in the Autumn Statement how he will stabilise the economy and put public finances on a sustainable footing, while targeting support to the most vulnerable and helping to bring inflation under control.

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne commented,

“the new Chancellor has made no attempt to shy away from the economic reality we face. Economies around the world are currently in, or are due to enter, a recession made in Russia. The UK is not immune from global pressures resulting from the pandemic and rising energy costs resulting from Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“Today’s statement has shown that Jeremy Hunt understands the need to renew market stability and take the difficult decisions needed to reduce inflation, support families through the cost of living pressures this winter and return the economy to growth as soon as practicable. He has been clear that he has had to find £55 billion to balance the books, but has done so roughly half from tax changes and half from spending decisions.

“The Autumn Statement has a wide ranging package of £12 billion support for those most in need, but also ensured that all households are supported through the period of higher energy bills by extending the Energy Price Guarantee for another year to April 2024.

“Those in South Shropshire reliant on alternative energy sources such as LPG and heating oil will see their support doubled to £200”.

In welcome news for local councils, today’s announcement included making available up to £7.5 billion for adult social care over the next two years, the largest increase in adult social care funding in history. Mr Dunne said, “with Shropshire Council spending as much as 86% of their budget on social care, this additional funding will help to ease council budgets next year and the following year, including here in Shropshire.”

I was pleased the Chancellor also announced uprated benefits in line with inflation as well as protecting the pensions Triple Lock. Crucially for those on the lowest incomes, the National Living Wage will be increased to £10.42, a 9.7% increase which will see two million full time workers on the lowest pay earn £1,600 more next year.

Dunne also welcomed the Government’s commitment to reduce energy costs in today’s statement:

“I am also pleased to see the Chancellor adopt measures that the Environmental Audit Committee, which I chair, have called for in recent months, in particular energy efficiency measures to reduce demand. The Chancellor announced the first interim target to reduce energy demand from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030. This plugs the gap in the Energy Security Strategy with an additional £6bn of funding after the existing £6.6bn being spent in this Parliament runs out in 2025.”

Dunne added,

“this Statement sees more money for the NHS, social care and education while maintaining funding levels for defence and international aid. It protects the most vulnerable with benefit increases, energy support, higher wages and protection of the pensions triple lock. It confirms our commitment to net zero and will drive growth in our economy. I will work with the Government to ensure that South Shropshire receives our fair share of support and funding announced”.