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Farron welcomes Autumn Statement as 'positive package' for Cumbria

December 5, 2013 1:54 PM

Tim speaking in ParliamentSouth Lakes MP and President of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has said that Cumbria gained out of today's Autumn Statement. Tim highlighted a series of policies that will benefit local people and boost the local economy.

Tim has welcomed a freeze in fuel duty until 2015, this was something he called for last month in the run up to the Autumn Statement.

Tim had also called for action to help our high streets . In today's announcement the chancellor agreed and proposed that premises with rateable values of up to £50,000 will get discounts worth £1000 off bills for the next two years. A reoccupation relief will also help to halve rates for new tenants.

Tim also has welcomed more money to help create 20,000 new Higher Apprenticeship places and the announcement that 15,078 children in Cumbria in reception, Year 1 and 2 will get free school meals, saving parents around £437 a year for each child. Around £100 million of fines from the banks will go to charities helping armed forces and emergency services.

The government have also capped business rates at 2% - Tim said he would have wanted a freeze and even a cut but pledged to keep pushing for more action.

Commenting, Tim said: "Today's Autumn Statement shows that we are finally turning the corner when it comes to the economy. After a tough three and a half years for the British public, growth is finally on the up - but we should not get complacent.

"Whilst on paper the figures look promising, the average family is still very much feeling the squeeze. That's why today's announcements on free school meals - which will save the average family over £400 - and action to curb spiralling petrol prices are so welcome.

"This, along with the £700 income tax cut fought for by the Lib Dems, will create real tangible savings in the pockets of families in Westmorland and Lonsdale, and across the country.

"I'm encouraged by measures to give councils more power to deliver homes through the new homes bonus and increased borrowing, but it is unacceptable that a Conservative bias towards current home owners has weakened our ability to tackle the housing crisis effectively. More needs to be done."

Councillor Giles Archibald, Town Centres and Small Business Portfolio Holder at South Lakeland District Council added: "I am delighted that there is some rate relief for small businesses and for the re-occupation of new premises. This is welcome relief for the high street. We will be studying the detail and working with businesses to maximise the benefit for our town centres."