The Budget

When times are tough and family budgets are being squeezed, the overriding priority of Conservatives in government is to help people who work hard and want to get on. This week, the Chancellor responded to the concerns of working people throughout the country: by cutting beer duty (and scrapping Labour's beer duty escalator), by cancelling the increase in the fuel duty that Labour had planned for September and by offering unprecedented help for working people who want to buy their own home but do not have enough money put by to pay for a 20% deposit. From next year, people will pay no income tax at all on the first £10,000 that they earn. These measures will make it a little bit easier for the Grantham Journal's readers to afford a house, a car and trip to the pub at the weekend.

In the long run, it is by making it easier to set up and run a business that we will get the British economy growing and creating jobs. By cutting corporation tax to 20%, we are making Britain one of the best places in the world to do business. The private sector has already created 1.25 million new jobs since 2010 but we want it to do more. A new Employment Allowance will take £2,000 off the National Insurance bill of every employer – businesses, charities and community groups. This will help 60,000 employers in the East Midlands, taking 30,000 out of having to pay any jobs tax at all.

If Britain is to have any chance of competing in the global race against countries like China, India and Brazil, we need to cut our deficit and get on top of our debts. It is taking longer than anyone expected to clear up the financial mess left by Labour - largely as a result of the economic crisis in the eurozone. But we are determined to stay the course - and do what we can to help working people with the cost of living in the meantime.