By Siobhan Baillie

A great deal of political and media noise has accompanied the Chancellor’s economic statement last week.

It is normal for a new Prime Minister and new Chancellor to unveil new policies and measures to tackle the challenges we face. 

Their approach, which is basically to grow the economy, contains huge changes and will need time to see the impact so passing immediate judgment may get commentators into a muddle. 

My focus remains on local people and businesses who have been worrying about increasing costs.

So to try to rise above the noise, here is a quick rundown of what was announced.

The basic rate of income will be tax cut to 19% in April 2023 with 31 million people getting on average £170 more per year.

The 45p top rate of income tax has been abolished in an attempt to bring more of the best and brightest to the UK and attract investment in a push for innovation and growth.

The rise in Corporation Tax was cancelled and the rate will stay 19% - again to stimulate growth and investment.

The 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance contributions and the rise in dividend tax will also be reversed next year.

The nil rate stamp Duty band is doubled from £125,000 to £250,000. First time buyers will pay no stamp duty up to £425,000.

The government is also in discussion with 38 English local and mayoral combined authorities, including Gloucestershire County Council, to set up Investment Zones. These provide lower tax and regulation regimes in specific sites.

Support for pubs and hospitality was announced too, with the freezing of alcohol duty for another year.

Plans to accelerate new roads, rail and energy infrastructure were unveiled. New legislation to cut barriers and restrictions to build infrastructure quicker were announced.

The thinking behind this statement is to help people keep more of their hard earned money after freezing energy bills and to set a target for a 2.5% trend of growth.

Growing the economy is to pay for public services, like the NHS, and improve living standards for everyone with more announcements due later in the year.