Scott Mann has expressed his delight at the news that a £19 million fund will be used to build community-led housing in the South West. It comes after Scott personally asked George Osborne in recent weeks to use the extra 3% stamp duty on second homes, as announced in November, to pay for new houses.
The Chancellor revealed his Budget just hours after new figures showed that UK employment was at its highest-ever level of 74.1%, with unemployment down to 5.1% - the lowest level in a decade. Statistics also revealed that the number of unemployed young people was down to 153,000 – the lowest since the 1970s, and that there is over one million more women in work since 2010.
In his 9,000 word, hour-long speech, the Chancellor announced tax cuts for small businesses and companies, as well as radical changes for young people to save money as well as to education.
Wednesday’s Budget announcements included:
- An increase in the tax-free personal allowance to £11,500 in 2017, which would take another 1.3 million people out of tax altogether
- The abolition of Class 2 National Insurance for three million self-employed workers.
- New “Lifetime Isa” for under 40’s which will add a 25% bonus to annual deposits up to £4,000.
- A sugar tax on sugary drinks to help tackle child obesity - £500 million will be used to fund school sport.
- 600,000 small businesses will be exempted from Business rates after thresholds rise £6,000 to £15,000.
- A freeze on beer, cider and fuel duty.
The pinnacle of the budget for Scott, though, was the £19 million for community-led housing.
“I’m absolutely delighted that the Chancellor has allocated this £19 million for community-led housing.
“After hearing the Autumn Statement last year when the Chancellor revealed an extra 3% stamp duty on second homes, I immediately wanted it to be used to build more houses for people in Cornwall. The county is very popular for second homes and it’s right that something is given back.
“I spoke with George Osborne in person in the Commons and wrote to him at the Treasury, asking that a ring-fenced sum of money be used from stamp duty for new Community Land Trust houses. Trusts have more freedom over who can buy and build the houses, which in Cornwall, would mean more houses for local people at affordable prices.
"It will be hugely beneficial to people living in Cornwall – enabling them to build their own homes and gain interest in that property."
In a letter to Scott after the Budget, George Osborne said that Scott had “championed” the cause for more affordable homes in Cornwall.
The Chancellor wrote:
“The Budget I delivered today includes around £20 million for community-led housing schemes in the areas most affected by holiday homes in the South West, funded from the higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax on additional properties.
“By supporting innovative approaches to homebuilding in the region I believe we can deliver genuinely affordable homes for local people. I wanted to let you know immediately as I know you’ve championed this cause.”
The Chancellor unveiled a list of measures specifically for the South West:
A new Mayoral Devolution Deal worth £900 million over 30 years devolution deal for the West of England which will see powers handed over for transport, planning and employment.
The halving of the cost of tolls on the Severn River Crossings once they return to public ownership in 2018.
- £5 million to develop options to safeguard the resilience of the rail line between Exeter and Newton Abbot, via Dawlish.
- £1.2 million towards redeveloping the booking hall at Exeter St Davids station.
- £1million for a new gateline at Weston-Super-Mare.
- The trialling of fuel price signs on the M5 between Exeter and Bristol.
- £700,000 for 70 additional car parking spaces at Cheltenham Spa station.
- £8.4 million to fill 159,000 potholes in the South West next year.
- £500,000 for the South Gloucestershire Council to fund a study into a new junction 18a on the M4 to link with the Avon ring road A4174.
- A new Enterprise Zone for Cornwall.
- £4.5 million boost for ultrafast broadband coverage across the South West.
- A grant of up to £16m to Dyson to support research and development for battery technology at their site in Malmesbury.
- That the National Infrastructure Commission will use the South West as a case study to see how the UK can become a world-leader on 5G rollout.
There’s also a wide package of announcement for culture, sport and good causes including:
- £2 million towards the refurbishment of the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, to provide high-quality facilities to artists and musicians.
- £620,000 for Bristol’s Brunel Museum to help refurbish the original Drawing Office of the SS Great Britain museum ship and create a new Isambard Kingdom Brunel museum in Bristol
- 196 museums will be eligible to claim a new Corporation Tax relief from 1 April 2017.
- £65,000 of Tampon Tax money for Charity One25, to support work helping vulnerable women in the Bristol region.
- £1.84 million from banking fines will go to NSPCC Services Centres in Tidworth and Catterick Garrison Towns to support service families.