Budget and Spending Review 2021: Investment in our infrastructure and transport
Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 28 October 2021 08:51
The Chancellor has recently announced the Budget and Spending Review, outlining how the Government plans to drive strong economic growth by investing in infrastructure, innovation and skills.
I was excited to see regional airports getting a boost in a couple of different ways. And that is important to Norwich, as well to thousands of people in our city and in our area who make use of Norwich airport, as it sustains hundreds of jobs and is a real asset to our city.
We know that airports have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, so it is great news that the Government is helping to preserve jobs and expertise at regional airports. Extending the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme in England for a further six months will help all our regional airports, including Norwich. That is equivalent to a full business rates holiday for almost all regional airports.
It is also very welcome news that the government will introduce a new domestic band for Air Passenger Duty. The 50% cut in Air Passenger Duty will apply to flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As a result, around 9 million passengers will pay less APD in 2023-24. This will benefit passengers here in Norwich and support regional connectivity.
The government is also supporting the haulage sector by continuing to freeze Vehicle Excise Duty for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)in 2022-23 and suspending the HGV Road User Levy for another 12 months from August 2022.
This is in addition to steps being taken to resolve HGV driver shortages, including 5,000 time-limited visas, additional HGV driver testing capacity and £32.5 million to improve roadside HGV facilities.
I also welcome the Chancellor’s confirmation that fuel duty will continue to remain frozen at 57.95p a litre. Due to rising global oil prices, the average cost of filling up the typical family car has gone up by £3.40 in the last eight weeks alone. Continuing the freeze on fuel duty will help working people here in Norwich.
The Chancellor has said that taxpayers’ money will be spent where it makes the most difference to people’s daily lives, and that includes creating high-wage and high-skilled jobs, upgrading our roads and railways, and building new homes, hospitals and schools.
The government plans to improve digital connectivity too, by continuing the landmark £5 billion investment in Project Gigabit to support the rollout of gigabit capable broadband in hard-to reach areas across the whole of the UK.
While connectivity has already improved, I have always lobbied for even more ambitious investment on behalf on constituents. The announcements in the Budget build on the £39 million of investment already allocated for Norwich, including funding for a new mobility hub at Norwich Rail Station through the Transforming Cities Fund.
Better transport and infrastructure will help create homes and jobs locally, which are fundamentally important for people. Improvements to infrastructure and the rail network will benefit us all, with faster transport times and new opportunities for investment in our city.
The integrated rail plan will be published soon, and I will continue to follow any updates closely, using my voice in Westminster to ensure ministers know what Norwich and Norfolk needs as we continue to recover from the pandemic.
I hope you find this information helpful. The Government’ is committed to infastructure and transport, and so am I for us in Norwich. If I can help constituents with any matter, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring my constituency office on 01603 414756.