The Chancellor’s Autumn Budget is good news for our region and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on why that is.
In it, the Chancellor commits to investing in our housing, our infrastructure and our science and technological business community amongst other things.
When delivering the Budget a couple of weeks ago, Philip Hammond endorsed the National Infrastructure Commission’s recent report on the Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford Corridor, signalling the intention to 'Create a dynamic new growth corridor for the 21st Century’. This Report called for a clear joined-up plan on housing, jobs and infrastructure and the Autumn Budget backed the building of up to a million homes along the corridor by 2050, while completing the road and rail infrastructure to support them.
This is not the only good news for our region. Through the Transforming Cities Fund, £74 million is to be given to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to invest in transport priorities in the region.
In addition to infrastructure, we are also set to benefit from the Government’s commitment to developing ‘a skilled and dynamic workforce’ for the future. As well as allocating funds to support T Levels (the equivalent of A levels with a focus on technology) and the upskilling of maths and computer science teaching, there will also be provision to establish a Tech Nation regional hub in Cambridge.
The support outlined to enable established science and tech companies to continue to hire the international talent they need to compete globally, also benefits our dynamic region.
In addition to regional investment there are many national measures that also stand to benefit us greatly. Some such measures include more money for the NHS, changes to stamp duty for first time buyers, changes to the waiting time for universal credit, the extension of the young person’s railcard up to the age of 30 and a commitment to maintain the freeze on fuel duty.
I very much welcome the enhanced opportunities this Budget affords our region and look forward to the benefits it promises to bring.
I will be in touch again before the end of the year with an update on some of the things I've been working on.
Lucy Frazer MP