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The Budget builds on the Chancellor’s strong record over the past six years of restoring sanity to the public finances, rebuilding the nation’s economy and securing growth. It is a shame that the shadow Chancellor is no longer in the Chamber, but I am sure that the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury will pass on the message that despite the shadow Chancellor’s mean-spirited comments to the Chancellor, such a feeling is not reciprocated on the Government Benches. Indeed, I am sure that I speak for all Conservative Members when I say that I hope that the shadow Chancellor will remain in his position for many years to come.
The Budget contains many measures that will benefit people and businesses in Dudley South by creating opportunities that are the hallmark of any compassionate society. There are nearly 3,000 small and medium-sized employers in Dudley South, many of which will benefit from the permanent increase in small business rate relief thresholds, as well as the increase in thresholds at the higher rate of business rates. As
For me, the most significant announcement in the Budget last Wednesday was of a new enterprise zone for the Waterfront in my constituency. I had been running a campaign about that since before the general election, so I put on record my personal thanks both to the Chancellor and to the Minister for Communities and Resilience, who has responsibility for devolution, who have taken the time to meet me, to listen to the arguments for the enterprise zone and, more importantly, to understand and act on them.
The enterprise zone will create more than 4,000 net new jobs—[Interruption.] As
The Budget is a big step forward in creating opportunities for all nations and all regions of our country. The black country is well placed to take full advantage, and I will certainly support the Budget this evening.