Basingstoke MP Maria Miller has welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 23 November as good news for Basingstoke residents and businesses.

The Autumn Statement set out plans to tackle the challenges facing the country, including investment in infrastructure and innovation, help for businesses, and giving support to hard working families, to help them keep more of the money they earn.

Maria welcomed the Chancellor’s plans for investment to boost productivity, with a £2.3 billion National Productivity Investment Fund to provide major additional spending over the next five years on transport, digital communications, research and development, and housing.

Maria said: “ Reliable transport networks are essential for growth and productivity, and the announcements today offer some excellent opportunities to secure funding for Basingstoke. Until quite recently, we have not had the investment in our roads and other infrastructure needed to keep pace with the high level of housebuilding and while this is now being addressed, future levels of housebuilding mean that we need to keep up the momentum.”

The Chancellor’s announcements include £1.1billion to reduce congestion and upgrade local roads and public transport;  £220 million to upgrade pinch points on strategic roads; a £2 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund for projects such as roads and water connections to support the construction of 100,000 new homes in the areas where they are needed most; and on top of this, the Local Enterprise Partnership will shortly be hearing what their share of the £1.8 billion Local Growth Fund will be, which is earmarked for infrastructure and other projects to boost growth.

Maria also welcomed the news that there would be trialling of new railway digital signalling technology to help increase capacity and improve reliability of trains.

“Investment in our railways is vital to bring about the much needed improvements for rail users. Another key element in securing improvements will be the refranchising of the south west route next year.”

Maria highlighted the measures in the Autumn Statement to help reduce the cost of living and increase the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage.

She commented: The increase in the personal allowance means lower taxes, with many people being taken out of income tax completely, so that hard working people can keep more of what they earn. I am also pleased to see that Fuel Duty has been frozen once again, saving drivers £130 a year on average.”

Maria also said: “ I was glad to see the ban on unfair tenants’ fees charged by letting agents. For people who rent their homes from a private landlord, this will remove an extra charge which I know can be difficult to afford.”

On other housing measures, Maria welcomed investment of £1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes.

There were also measures in the Autumn Statement designed to provide certainty and stability for businesses, including committing to cut Corporation tax, funds to invest in innovative small businesses, and major investment in R & D for businesses as well as in universities.

Maria commented: “Basingstoke is one of the top ten centres of employment in the South East and many businesses in my constituency will welcome the measures announced today, including the huge investment in full fibre broadband and trialling of 5G, which offer great opportunities for local businesses.”