Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Conservative, Mid Worcestershire 2:49 pm, 31st October 2018

I agree completely. In fact, one of the main reasons why social mobility is such a challenge in my constituency is that there are a disproportionately high special needs. There is also a disproportionately high number of children with English as a second language. All these things require more attention, and they are causing genuine pressure on budgets.

I was mentioning NHS spending. The average CCG spending is £1,254, but the figure in Worcestershire is £1,138. There are areas of the country where average spending per person is up to £1,670. Again, my constituents are losing out to the tune of £500 per person per year vis-à-vis other areas. I do not resent the fact that other areas of the country are getting considerably more public expenditure than my constituents; I am just very jealous, and I want to make sure that my constituents get their fair share.

On infrastructure, whether broadband or road building, the midlands in particular—the area I represent—is underfunded compared with London and the south-east, which get so much funding. I am glad to see that that will change. There are announcements in the Budget for considerable increases in transport infrastructure spend. For example, I hope that the A46 will benefit.

I do not want to give the impression that it is all doom and gloom in my constituency, because it is frequently mentioned, after all, as one of the most desirable places in the country in which to live. It is obviously not because we are overfunded through public expenditure, but because the people in my constituency work hard. They are self-reliant, and if there is a problem, they look first in the mirror and try to resolve it themselves. It is unfair if my constituents have to delve into their own pockets to pay for things that are provided in other parts of the country through public expenditure. We need a balance, and a rebalancing, in where public money goes. In conclusion, I am arguing today not for special treatment for my constituents, but for fair and equal treatment, which I will do everything I can to deliver.