budget box

“The Chancellor has today announced a series of measures that will give Britain’s businesses a real boost,” was the reaction of Anthea McIntyre MEP, Conservative Employment Spokesman in Europe, to George Osborne’s Budget Statement.

“I particularly welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that all employers will receive a £2,000 cut from the National Insurance Contributions from next April.  Around 90% of this cut, which is equivalent to the employer’s NIC contributions on four full-time employees on the national minimum wage, will go to small businesses.

“This scheme is far more extensive than the relief I called for in last week’s BBC ‘Sunday Politics Show’ and is clear proof that George Osborne has achieved his ambition to deliver ‘a Budget for people who aspire to work hard and get on’.  Another barrier to small and micro-businesses taking on more employees has been swept away and that can only be good news for future employment prospects.”

Other measures that Miss McIntyre saw as being especially helpful to Britain’s smaller businesses included the scrapping of the planned 3p fuel duty increase; the earlier introduction of the £10,000 income tax threshold; increased spending on infrastructure projects and the extension of the capital gains tax holiday for another year for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).

“All the goods that we buy are brought to us by truck or van and scrapping the fuel duty increase that the last Government had planned helps provide businesses with some certainty on these costs for the coming year.”

“I know that Britain’s 4.5 million small businesses and leading organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) will welcome the Chancellor’s evident determination to do what he can to help them thrive and grow despite the horrendous economic mess that he inherited from the Labour Party just three years ago.”

Mary Eliot Special School in Walsall is a special school for students aged 11-19 with severe and profound complex learning difficulties.

Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, visited the school after accepting an invitation from Clive Ault, Vice-Chairman of the School Governors, to meet staff, school governors and the pupils and to see the state of the art premises which offer educational accommodation which is second to none.

“It was a real pleasure to meet the school’s inspirational headteacher, Liz Jordan, many members of the staff and, most importantly, the students.

“One aspect of the school that really stood out for me was the school lunches.  Mary Eliot School have a proper, fully-functioning, kitchen that takes in fresh ingredients and turns them into absolutely wonderful meals.

“Not only does this allow the kitchen staff to produce really delicious meals of excellent quality that the students actually want to eat but it also allows the school to cope with often complex dietary requirements without waste – a truly remarkable achievement.

“It is obvious that Mary Eliot Special School is  a very special place and I am so pleased to have been able to see it for myself.”