You can tell when it’s a big day in Parliament as all the seats on the green benches are reserved at the crack of dawn.
This week, it was Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s first budget, so the pressure was on to deliver and he certainly did.
Like all MPs, I have my own opinions on what should and shouldn’t be in the budget, so I got involved in a number of causes to state our case.
My mother taught me that if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so with that in mind I wrote to the Chancellor with my ‘wish list’.
I’ve been heavily involved the campaign to freeze fuel duty.
Bassetlaw is a large constituency and for many of us, the car is a necessity.
When the fuel duty freeze was announced I could have jumped for joy.
Another victory is the freeze in duty on alcoholic drinks.
The small pub business rates discount will increase from £1,000 to £5,000 and the Chancellor’s measures will save pub-goers £80 million and safeguard 2,000 jobs.
Added to this, the ‘reading tax’ – VAT on e-books – was scrapped.
Thousands of retail, leisure and hospitality firms won’t pay business rates in the coming year as small venues and shops with a rateable value below £51,000 will be exempt.
Cash grants of £3,000 to small businesses with rateable values below £15,000 will be available, too which is great news for local entrepreneurs.
To help deal with the potential economic fallout from Coronavirus, there will be a £5 billion emergency response fund to support the NHS and other public services.
Self-isolating individuals will be entitled to statutory sick pay, even if they have not presented with symptoms.
Self-employed workers who are not eligible will be able to claim contributory Employment Support Allowance benefit, which will be available from day one.
There will be a £500 million hardship fund for councils in England to help the most vulnerable in their areas.
Firms with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded for sick pay payments for two weeks and small firms will be able to access ‘business interruption’ loans of up to £1.2 million.
Please follow Government advice to keep yourself and those around you fit and well.