THERE has been much concern in recent months over the cuts that the Government are undertaking in order to reduce the deficit, which is the largest in our peacetime history.
It is natural that people are concerned about spending cuts and I know from my own correspondence from constituents that there is a lot of genuine anxiety out there.
But I didn’t want to use my article this week to talk about cuts.
On Wednesday this week, the new financial year started. That meant a whole range of things changed but I wanted to highlight two of them that try and help with difficult personal financial situations that people are facing, especially the most vulnerable in society.
First of all, we have the raising of the tax threshold by £1,000. This means that 880,000 people in the UK and 2,500 in Solihull will stop paying income tax altogether. As well as that, it will give a tax break to 23 million people nationwide and 87,000 in Solihull.
This will put £200 back in the pockets of low and middle earners.
Then with pensioners, the pensions earning link is now reinstated so that each year pensions will rise by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent.
This represents a decent increase every year to help with living costs.
This rise also means that, on average, someone retiring now will receive £15,000 more than they would previously.
Even in difficult economic times, that demonstrates a commitment to fairness and looking after the most vulnerable.
There is no question that this country has maxed out its credit card, but in my view we cannot and should not make our children, and our children’s children pick up our bill.