I thank Wes Streeting for his passionate speech; I do not agree with many of his points, but I admire his passion. I also thank my hon. Friend Mr Mak for a good speech about the opportunity society, and other hon. Members for the excellent maiden speeches we have heard today, in particular that by my hon. Friend Royston Smith. I helped him during the campaign and I was thrilled by his victory on
At its heart, this Budget is about opportunity, endeavour and responsibility. Those are my core values—the values that make me a Conservative. This Budget is not only about aspiration, but it underpins the truth that the Conservatives are the real party of working people. It aims to create a Britain where everyone has the chance to prosper through earning more, paying less taxation and having free innovation. Those are the kernels of aspiration. The rise in the minimum wage, the increase in the tax-free threshold and the rise in the 40p tax threshold will all contribute to a fairer society, where aspiration is a reality for millions of people. Key to that aspiration, opportunity and growth are productivity and a skilled workforce that are local to the workplace. The need for increased skills will be key to transforming the efficiency and growth in our economy.
My constituency of Fareham on the south coast has an economy of more than £2.5 billion gross value added, 1.3 million people, 50,000 businesses and thriving marine, aviation and aerospace sectors, with high technology and advanced skills and engineering.