WATCH: Chris’ speech on Budget Day 2018

I was delighted yesterday when the Chancellor announced that he has responded to my campaigning for help to small shops on business rates relief. All small shops will benefit from a one third business rates cut for the next two years, until the next revaluation. Very kind of him to name check me!

The Chancellor also announced an inflation-busting 4.9% increase in effective minimum wage, from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour (up from just £5.93 under Labour in 2010 – 38% increase – getting on for double inflation in that period). This shows Conservatives are on the side of working people

By my calculations, someone working 40 hrs a week on Min Wage has annual wage up from £11,200 in 2010 to £17,100 next April. That’s +38%. But *post tax* income up 44% due to personal allowance increases. Inflation over this period c. 25%. Those on lowest wages see big real increase

There was also massive news from the respected Resolution Foundation: they say Universal Credit with today’s changes is now more generous than the old benefit system it is replacing. Labour want to suspend UC – meaning people on benefits would collectively get less money!

Yesterday’s budget will make Universal Credit more generous than the old system. It will bring the minimum wage up to £8.21p/h and it will cut business rates by 1/3rd for small shops – I hope that the Chancellor will continue with these moves.