Budget 2023: MP Holly Lynch expresses concern that measures will have "little impact" for residents in Halifax

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Halifax MP Holly Lynch says she is concerned the Spring Budget will bring “little benefit” to residents in the town.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Budget in the Commons today (Wednesday), saying it will draw people back into the workforce.

Free childcare of 30 hours a week for working parents in England is being expanded to cover one and two-year-olds, but will only be fully implemented by September 2025, while Hunt is also scrapping the lifetime allowance on tax-free pension contributions, which is currently £1.07m, to stop people like doctors from retiring early.

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While the economy will narrowly avoid recession, spending power is still forecast to fall by 6% over this fiscal year and next, says independent watchdog the OBR, fuel duty has been frozen again, help with energy bills is being extended and defence spending is being boosted by £11bn.

Holly Lynch, MPHolly Lynch, MP
Holly Lynch, MP

“I am concerned that this budget will bring little benefit to the people of Halifax,” said Holly.

"Some of the significant proposals like those on childcare will actually take years to be fully implemented when you read the fine print.

"Growth was downgraded with wages lower now in real terms than they were 13 years ago. At the same time the tax burden has been revised up yet again, with the OBR saying it will now rise to the highest level since the second world war.

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"Rachel Reeves and Keir Starmer have set out our mission to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7, create good jobs with productivity and growth across every part of our country.

Tracy Brabin Mayor of West YorkshireTracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire
Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

"Halifax families are really struggling and I'll be making that clear in the budget debate next week.”

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift, said: “Council’s finances remain under immense pressure, due to high levels of inflation and increased demand for public services.

“Today’s Spring Statement provided the Chancellor with the opportunity to address some of the immediate concerns within Local Government and to help us deliver our ambitions for Calderdale, West Yorkshire and the North.

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“Confirmation of the West Yorkshire Investment Zone is welcome, providing high quality jobs and investment for our region. I look forward to working together with our neighbours across the Combined Authority to maximise the benefits for Calderdale.

Martin HathawayMartin Hathaway
Martin Hathaway

“I’m glad too that the Government has recognised the value of the leisure sector which has been badly affected by the rising costs caused by inflation. Today’s announcement of further funding is much-needed and we will explore opportunities for our leisure facilities and how they may be able to benefit.

“As with any major Government announcement however, the devil will be in the detail and we will analyse the full content of the statement to identify impacts and opportunities for Calderdale.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said: "I’m pleased that government has recognised the strength of West Yorkshire and is choosing to work with us to deliver an investment zone. This will bring further opportunities for people across West Yorkshire and unlock more potential for our region.

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“I also welcome energy support for households, as our communities continue to navigate through this crippling cost of living crisis. I’m glad that the Chancellor has listened to repeated calls from worried families up and down the country. But more needs to be done to safeguard businesses – many of whom are on the brink of collapse due to rising costs and inflation.

“I would have welcomed government taking this opportunity to recommit to Mass Transit, but we will continue to develop our plans and push Ministers for further funding.

“And if the Government is serious about growing our economy and getting people back into work, then West Yorkshire must be next in line for a trailblazer devolution deal. We stand ready to build on our track record, working with businesses to deliver the training and support our region needs to thrive.”

Managing director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Martin Hathaway, said: “I would like to commend the Government's announcement of further childcare funding. This initiative has the potential to drive economic growth across our regions of Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield and the wider UK by enabling more parents to participate in the workforce.

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“By easing the financial burden of childcare, along with prolonged energy bill support, we are unlocking a valuable talent pool that businesses across the region can tap into. This will create a ripple effect that will benefit not only our local communities but also the national economy.

“This is an opportune moment for businesses to expand their workforces by considering candidates who previously may not have been able to commit to full-time or part-time work due to the high cost of childcare. These individuals bring with them diverse skills, experiences and perspectives that can enrich organisations and contribute to growth.

“As a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIPs) provider, skills and employment are high on my agenda. The Chancellor’s announcements of reform and increased funding across disability benefits, mental health and musculoskeletal support, SME occupational health, and the Supportive Internship Programme is very welcome to help us support people into work and to stay in work, as well as a robust sounding plan to support over 50s who wish to return to work, to return to work.

“What is very welcome is the removal of the pension contribution limit which will certainly help to keep more people into work.

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“The corporation tax rise that was announced by Rishi Sunak when he was Chancellor will still go ahead but I welcome the further business support that will also come into play. This includes enhanced R&D tax credits, full capital expensing and a range of measures to reduce energy costs. We cannot however underestimate the impact that this rise will have on many businesses who are still suffering as a result of Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis, namely our hospitality, travel and leisure sectors.

“While levelling up did get a significant mention in today’s budget, I would like more detail on how exactly this £400m package of support and the investment zones for the north can be accessed. We need action on levelling up.

“We have talked about it in many budgets since the term was coined but I hope that Mr Hunt can actually start to move this programme forward with the support of his dedicated Secretary of State, Michael Gove.

“I was disappointed that transport did not appear a top priority for the Chancellor today. Here in Yorkshire, and across the north, we have suffered with inadequate transport links for many years, made worse by the ongoing strike


“I urge the Chancellor to place a higher focus on transport in our areas to bring it up to speed with the capital and other global infrastructure leaders. Enough is enough.”