I welcome the Chancellor’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement. It delivers on the promise the Conservative Party made to the British people that we would put their security first by: Protecting our economic security – taking the difficult decisions to live within our means and bring our debts down. The public spending plans set out in the Spending Review mean Britain will reach a surplus of £10.1 billion in 2019/20 – that’s higher than was forecast at the Budget and means Britain will be out of the red and into the black. Protecting our national security by defending our country’s interests abroad and keeping our citizens safe at home. The Spending Review announced there will be no cuts in the police budget with real terms protection for police funding and delivers on the Government’s commitment to spend 2 per cent of our national income on defence. In total, the Spending Review commits £4 trillion pounds over the next five years. A huge commitment of the hard-earned cash of British taxpayers, and the Conservative Party knows we have an obligation to make sure it is well spent. Our approach is not simply retrenchment, it is to reform and rebuild, with: Full funding of the Five Year Forward View put forward by the NHS itself as the plan for its future with the first £6 billion delivered up-front next year. The biggest real terms rise in the basic State Pension in 15 years. Thanks to our commitment to the triple lock, next year the basic state pension will rise by £3.35 to £119.30 a week. The biggest house building programme by any government since the 1970s with a doubling of the housing budget to over £2 billion a year. Our bold plan to back families who aspire to buy their own home will deliver 400,000 affordable new homes by the end of the decade. The phasing out entirely of the local government grant. By the end of the parliament local government will keep all of the revenue from business rates. We will abolish the uniform business rate so councils will be able to cut rates to attract new businesses, but because the amount government raises in business rates is much greater than the amount we give to local councils through the local government grant we will phase that grant out entirely and devolve additional responsibilities. New apprenticeship levy to deliver 3 million apprenticeships. This will ensure large businesses share the cost of training, but businesses with a wage bill below £3 million won’t have to pay. We will also increase funding for apprenticeships to make sure they are high quality apprenticeships. Real terms protection of the schools budget. We will maintain funding for free infant school meals, protect rates for the pupil premium, and increase the cash in the dedicated schools grant. We’re also going to open 500 new free schools and University Technical Colleges, and invest £23 billion in school buildings and 600,000 new school places. The largest ever investment in free childcare so working families get the help they need. From 2017, we will fund 30 hours of free childcare for working families with three and four year olds. We’ll support £10,000 of childcare costs tax-free and, to support nurseries delivering more free places for parents, we’ll increase funding for the sector by £300 million. The improvement in the nation’s finances used to help on tax credits. Because of the improvement in the public finances, the simplest thing to do is not to phase these changes in, but to avoid them altogether. Tax credits are being phased out anyway as we introduce universal credit. Average saving of £30 from the projected energy bills of 24 million households by introducing a cheaper domestic energy efficiency scheme.
This Autumn Statement delivers on the promise we Conservatives made to people in Beckenham that we would put their security first. It protects our economic security by taking the difficult decisions to live within our means and bring our debts down. Moreover it protects our national security by defending our country’s interests abroad and keeping our citizens safe at home.