I am very pleased to be called to speak in this important debate.
I welcome the Budget very much, especially the cut in business rates, which will have a hugely positive impact on many businesses in my constituency. One such business in Aldershot is the butcher Alf Turner, a long-standing establishment founded in 1956. Madam Deputy Speaker, you will know that it is not only Budget week, but UK Sausage Week. I am pleased to report that Paul Turner, the proprietor of Alf Turner, is a supreme sausage champion, having won the UK Sausage Week award for best traditional sausage. Last night he said to me:
“The cuts to business rates from Monday’s Budget are fantastic news for local family-run businesses like mine. Keeping local shops open can only serve our local communities.”
I draw attention to that because the real point is that Paul’s business is successful not because the Government are helping it, but because the Government are letting it get on with what it does best: making great sausages. It creates a superb product that local people choose to buy and is now available nationally. The lesson is the importance of choice. When freedom of choice is allied with the free flow of capital and labour, and protected by property rights and the rule of law, we have a flourishing free market. That is the great genius of our economy and many economies in the west.