What the budget means for Staffordshire

On Wednesday we had the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s first budget and while we need to read through the finer detail we certainly welcome some of the announcements.

In my last post, I spoke about Coronavirus and the Government’s action plan to tackle it, so it was good to see the Chancellor recognise the challenge by pledging billions of pounds to get the country through the outbreak as well as saying the NHS would get whatever resources it needs 

Other highlights of the budget included investment in key infrastructure such as roads and broadband connectivity, including a forecast £11 million a year for Staffordshire for repairing potholes.

The decision to increase the business rate discount for pubs and cancel the planned beer duty increase is also good news for Burton’s brewing industry.  The suspension of fuel duty was also welcome for our rural county while green travel alternatives are developed.

The county council already plans to invest more than £120 million in capital projects this financial year such as schools and business sites and to build nursing homes for older people in areas of need. On top of this we will also be investing £690,000 in climate change and sustainability projects and an additional £8.1 million in helping to keep more children out of care.

Clearly we will be looking at the fine detail of the announcement in the coming weeks but we will continue to lobby Government for long term solutions to council funding. This includes finding a sustainable funding arrangement for social care, which now accounts for 65 per cent of our budget.

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