In one of the great occasions of the Parliamentary year, which never loses its compelling sense of drama, the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget on March 19.
Ican say that constituents have expressed a general welcome for the provisions on pensions and savings, because many people have asked for just the kind of flexibility that these measures will bring about, when they are making preparations for retirement.
We need a vibrant economy and from the first the Chancellor was able to say that the UK economy is recovering.
There is now an independent body, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which analyses economic data.
Last year, the OBR said that growth in 2014 would be 1.8 per cent. They have now forecast growth of 2.7 per cent. The long term forecast is for growth over the next four years.
Six years ago, the economy shrank, as recession took hold. Later this year the OBR thinks our economy will reach the point when it is at long last larger than when it suffered that collapse.
Britain’s economy is growing faster than those of any other major advanced country in the world.
Manufacturing will play a part in this revival and I was pleased to see the announcement that a major company, Siemens, is going to be working with Associated British Ports to create jobs in the offshore wind industry.
The Chancellor pointed out that manufacturing jobs are increasing in the United States, dispelling the previous belief that manufacturing would continue to decline in the western world. George Osborne attributed this to the lower energy costs in the US.
He has therefore capped the carbon levies which restrict business opportunities for our manufacturers.
A medium sized manufacturing business will save nearly £50,000 on its annual energy bill.
There was a further benefit because the Chancellor said this measure will also reduce energy bills by £15 a year for the average family.