The Chancellor delivered his Budget today, setting out his plan for the economy as the country begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Dover has been included as an area which will receive extra capacity funding for its application to a £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, designed to invest in infrastructure across the UK to support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.
I welcome the Chancellor’s Budget, which constitutes a sensible package of measures which will put jobs and businesses at the heart of our recovery from the pandemic.
The Budget represents a big boost for Dover and Deal. Dover’s priority funding means it can make the best case to win a share of the Levelling Up Fund. It’s a fantastic opportunity for making the most of our commercial, retail and cultural assets. Bringing funding to the area is a key priority of mine and I spoke to the Chancellor before the Budget about the importance of supporting Dover and Deal so I am pleased he has listened.
We have a large number of self-employed people here in Dover and Deal, many of whom have struggled during the pandemic. It is welcome news that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended to September, and that some who previously were not eligible for the scheme can now claim on their earnings in the 2019/20 financial year.
Moreover, the Restart Grants worth £5 billion will provide much-needed support for the retail and hospitality businesses which are so crucial to our local economy. Non-essential retail businesses will be eligible for up to £6,000 per premise, while hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses could receive up to £18,000 per premise.
I also wrote to the Chancellor asking him to consider an extension of the Stamp Duty holiday, which he confirmed on Wednesday will be extended to the end of June, with an additional partial reduction until the end of September. There is also a freeze on alcohol and fuel duty, as well as no increases in income tax, National Insurance Contributions, or VAT.
This Budget represents an ambitious plan to continue to fight the virus, protect jobs and businesses, fix the public finances, and build a strong future economy. I look forward to seeing Dover & Deal reap the benefits.