AS your local MP for Central Devon, one of the most rewarding aspects of my role is engaging with people in the constituency, listening to their issues, and working to address them.

I know one of the issues concerning people right across the constituency right now is the cost of living.

High inflation caused by Covid and more recently the war in Ukraine has eaten into people’s living standards. So, I wanted to update you on what the Spring Budget means for you and the progress we have been making to deliver a strong economy both nationally and locally.

With inflation down from 11.1 per cent to four per cent, this Conservative Government was able to cut taxes in the Spring Budget and put more money in people’s pockets to grow the economy.

The big news was the 2p cut in National Insurance, which will benefit 2.4 million working people in the South West. When combined with the National Insurance cut in last year’s Autumn Statement, this will be worth £900 to people earning £35,400 (the average salary) and will save the average self-employed person £650.

The Chancellor also increased support for those claiming Child Benefit. Changes which will see around half-a-million people gaining an average of £1,200.

We are also sticking with our plan to deliver a £6 billion investment in the NHS, cutting waiting lists and improve maternity care.

Alongside this, Capital Gains Tax was cut by four per cent on property sales, reducing costs for those selling a home and we are freezing fuel duty and keeping the five pence cut, saving you money every time you fill the tank. This is the 14th consecutive fuel duty freeze under the Conservatives, helping to save motorists money at the pump.

As well as being the MP for Central Devon, I am also Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and so am particularly focused on bolstering productivity and increasing employment opportunities to stimulate economic growth. 

At DWP we have introduced our “Back To Work” plan to help people with long-term health conditions into the workforce. This has contributed to a record high employment rate, with nearly four million more people employed since 2010.

We are also delivering essential cost of living support, as we know that high inflation driven by the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East are hurting pensioners across the country, including in Central Devon.

Around 11.9 million Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments were made to pensioners across the UK in December 2023, worth more than £4.8 billion, providing up to £600 to help with energy bills and household budgets during the colder months. 

And there was also £168 million of financial support for farmers, delivering the Government’s plan for sustainable farming. We will of course stick with our pledge to match the support previously provided through the EU.

For further details on the budget please visit my website: .