Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed a Budget to help the Gosport Constituency build back better following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chancellor addressed Members of Parliament this afternoon, setting out the economic plans for the next year that focuses on supporting people and businesses. In total, over £407 billion will help families, jobs and businesses over this year and next.
Included in this support is the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of September and two further grants for the self-employed. Over £25 billion will be available through Restart Grants to help businesses reopen their doors as restrictions are slowly lifted and £700 million has been provided for arts, culture and sports sectors.
In total, in the South East so far almost 1.3 million jobs have been supported through the furlough scheme and over 390,000 self-employed residents have received a share of £3 billion. Through Bounce Back loans and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, over 210,000 local employers have also received a share of £8.8 billion.
Businesses will benefit from the extension of the business rates holiday and VAT cut, and those looking to buy their own home will be able to access help through a new mortgage guarantee scheme and continued stamp duty holiday.
To help those who need it most, £19 million will be provided to domestic violence programmes and £10 million for the Armed Forces Covenant to support veterans mental health.
Importantly, a new Solent Freeport will create jobs and stimulate local economic growth. This announcement has been particularly welcomed by Caroline, who co-signed a letter of support for the Solent Freeport bid and met with the Solent LEP to discuss these proposals and the many benefits for jobs in our area. Caroline also wrote to the Trade Secretary to promote freeports in our area in 2019.
Gosport specifically can now also bid to benefit from up to £150,000 through the Levelling Up Fund as the first round of applications have now opened, worth £4.8 billion across the UK.
“Although there is now light at the end of the tunnel I know from speaking with local businesses that times are tough as we look ahead to reopening society.
“The decision to extend vital support, such as furlough to September and the self-employment scheme, will help millions and is just part of the unprecedented measures taken today by the Government to support jobs and businesses in the months ahead.
“I look forward to seeing the real benefits that it will bring to residents across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent.”
To help local employers during this time Caroline has been signposting them to financial support available through local and central government. She is also hosting a free exporting event for businesses across the constituency in partnership with the Department for International Trade. On March 12th local traders can join via zoom to learn more about expanding their business internationally, whether they have experience or are first time exporters.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP said:
“Throughout this pandemic, my top priority has been to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods. Today’s Budget reaffirms this commitment, with £407billion to support the British people this year and next as one of the largest, most comprehensive and sustained responses this country has ever seen.
“It is thanks to successive Conservative governments that we have been able to respond to this crisis as boldly as we have. But we need to be honest about the challenges facing our public finances, and how we will begin to fix them.
“As we look ahead, this Budget lays the foundations of our future economy–driving up productivity, creating green jobs, supporting small businesses, and levelling up across the entire United Kingdom”