Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve writes exclusively to BFP readers:
By now readers will have had the chance to digest the contents of what is effectively an historic Budget.
It is set to be the last one in the spring. Henceforth, Budgets will be in the autumn, to allow more time for tax changes to work through before coming into force before the beginning of the next tax year in April.
Understandably, as the debates continue about the process of the UK exiting the European Union, the Chancellor led off with detailed information about this country’s economic performance.
In economic growth, among the major advanced economies, Britain had the second highest position. Only Germany had a higher rate of growth, putting this country ahead of the US, Japan and France. Employment is growing, with unemployment at its lowest for 11 years. Wages have grown in real terms (ie adjusted for inflation) for 27 months in succession now.
Buckinghamshire has a workforce with excellent skills and companies which are world class. This Budget recognised that the UK must build up technical skills – based on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths – to allow our economy to flourish and to compete globally.
Technical studies are to be given wider support, from the introduction of T-levels to the setting up of specialist maths schools. Yet learning does not stop once the student leaves school, college or university.
There will also be pilot schemes to test the effectiveness of different approaches to lifelong learning so people will be able to retrain all their working lives.
Support for research and development, for new fields of technology like robotics and biotech, and for investment in full fibre broadband and 5G mobile technology, were all included in this Budget.
It also included measures to support the NHS, with funding for adult social care and GP triage projects in Accident & Emergency units in time for next winter.