On Wednesday 18 March – later this week – the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be presenting his Budget, just under two weeks before the House of Commons is dissolved and the General Election campaign begins.

Looking back to the time of the Coalition government’s first Budget, in the summer of 2010, the picture was only just beginning to emerge of the amount of debt which had been accrued by the previous Labour government. A Labour Treasury minister had indeed left a ‘humorous’ note for his successor, saying “There is no money”.

Since then there has had to be serious work done to rebuild the economy. The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance has fallen consistently, month on month, with our businesses creating more than a million jobs. More women are in work than ever before and the workforce is at its highest level ever – an increase of 1.7 million since 2010.

I hope the Budget will add to the series of measures which have helped businesses to take on staff, such as the Employment Allowance which gives every business and charity £2000 by reducing their National Insurance Contributions bill each year.

The £10,000 personal allowance on income tax has provided a tax cut for 24 million people, with 2.7 million on lower incomes coming out of the tax system altogether.

At the moment, people are being encouraged to register now for the Marriage Allowance. This is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership. Although not every married couple will be eligible, because it is designed to allow people below the £10,600 income level to transfer their unused allowance to their spouse, it is a strong signal of support for the stability of marriage and partnerships.

There is more information available on www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance.