PRESELI Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has welcomed the budget unveiled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday.

Mr Crabb, a junior minister in the Wales Office, said:  “This could have been a Budget designed just for the needs of Pembrokeshire. It had measures to help people from all walks of life, businesses and voluntary groups too.

“From retired people to those working on low incomes; from people trying to build up their savings to those families struggling with childcare costs; from local industry and business facing soaring energy bills to charities like the Air Ambulance and local lifeboats needing help with fuel costs, this Budget gave real practical assistance to Pembrokeshire."

Aspects he highlighted include:

  • Help for savers and retired people: “Pembrokeshire is home to a greater proportion of retired people than most other parts of the UK. These are people who have worked hard all their lives and should now be able to enjoy the fruits of that. But too many have seen little benefit from their hard-earned savings in recent years so today’s steps to increase ISA levels, slash tax on savings and offer new higher interest pensioner bonds are a big step forward in improving the quality of life for those in retirement,” he said.
  • Help for families and the lowest earners: “This Budget will have a real impact on the lowest earners in Pembrokeshire. Raising the Personal Allowance to £10,500 will put more money back in people’s pockets at the end of each month and take around 2,000 people in Pembrokeshire out of income tax altogether," said Mr Crabb.

“The cost of childcare is a huge issue for a great many families in our County and the measures announced today will give parents a subsidy worth up to £2,000 to help with these costs starting next year. Households can also expect to see their energy bills fall by an additional £15.”

  • The Haven Enterprise Zone & Pembrokeshire business: “I very much welcome the extended tax break given to the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone in the Budget. The Enhanced Capital Allowance for businesses investing in our local Enterprise Zone will now be available right up until 2020. This will make Haven an even more attractive place to invest. On the back of the disappointing events at Mustang Marine this is welcome news.

“Energy costs are a real problem not just for many households but for businesses too. With major industry on our doorsteps like Valero and Murco the cap on the Carbon Price Floor announced today is a really positive step forward. I am pleased that the work I have led at the Wales Office on energy intensive industries is beginning to bear fruit for Welsh industry.”

  • Pubs & community groups: “In our local community as well, this Budget will help by waiving VAT on fuel for the Wales Air Ambulance and RNLI rescue boats. This is of particular benefit for our coastal communities particularly as we enter the height of the tourist season.

“Local scouts and girl guide groups are also set to benefit from £10 million the Government is taking back from those banks who abused the LIBOR interbank lending rates.

“The cost of beer is now down 1p a pint as well which I know will be a welcome boost to landlords and landladies across the County. It’s been a tough time for many community pubs but I am pleased that the economy is strong enough again to enable Beer Duty to be cut.”

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