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Dumfriesshire MP welcomes 'good news' in Autumn Statement

Conservative MP David Mundell has welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The Dumfriesshire MP says it is, "good news that Stamp Duty is going to be cut and made fairer."

It’s been a tough few years for many local people but the Chancellor’s statement shows how important it has been for the Government to stay the course and get the nation’s finances sorted out.

I very much welcome the increase in NHS spending and hope some of the Scottish Government’s £125million allocation will make its way to the South of Scotland to support services in rural areas. Fuel Duty is now 20p less than it would have been had the Chancellor not cut it and maintained that cut. This policy which I have consistently lobbied for, has made a real difference to local families and businesses.

The continued raising of the personal allowance takes the lowest paid out of tax all together - across Scotland 38,000 people will benefit from the latest change, and given our low wage economy many will be locally. It’s also good news that Stamp Duty is going to be cut and made fairer. The Scottish Parliament takes responsibility for that tax next year and I hope the Scottish Government will match the Chancellors’ changes.

– Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell

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MP welcomes VAT refund for Mountain Rescue Teams

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that VAT will be refunded for our Mountain Rescue, Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance teams.

MP Tim Farron Credit: PA

The refund, announced in today’s Autumn Statement, comes after years of campaigning by the MP.

The new policy replaces from the previous arrangements, where teams would receive a grant to offset some of their VAT costs. That was first won by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mountain Rescue, vice chaired by Tim, back in 2011 – but was due to expire this year.

This is fantastic news and will make a massive difference to our vital search and rescue teams. It has always struck me as deeply unfair that an emergency service which saves people’s lives everyday, has to pay tax on the vital equipment that they use – especially when virtually all of their funding comes from charitable donations. That’s why I have been campaigning for so long to stop these teams having to pay VAT. Our Mountain Rescue teams do amazing work for people in desperate need. I cannot praise them highly enough – their determination and bravery are truly inspiring.

Today’s announcement would not have been possible without the work of the late Stewart Hulse from Windermere. As a member of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Stewart helped me gather the evidence to present to Minister to firstly secure the grant funding, and now this refund. I want to pay tribute to him as we celebrate this important victory.

– MP Tim Farron

What the Autumn Statement means for the North

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Osborne announces stamp duty overhaul

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for a total overhaul of the "badly-designed" stamp duty system paid on the purchases of homes.

The reform will mean new marginal rates that the Chancellor says will mean a stamp duty cut for 98% of homebuyers.

  • No tax on first £125,000 paid
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
  • 5% up to £925,000
  • 10% up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on everything over that
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Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £10,600

The tax-free personal allowance will rise to £10,600, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The Treasury tweeted a graphic to mark the ongoing increase:

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£10k student loans set for post-grad masters students

Government-backed student loans of up to £10,000 will be made available to all young people taking post-graduate masters degrees, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

A year ago, I abolished the arbitrary cap on the total number of undergraduates at our universities. Today, I am going to revolutionise the support for our post-graduate students too.

Until now there has been almost no financial support available, and the upfront costs of postgraduate degrees deters bright students from poorer backgrounds.

– George Osborne

Chancellor hails Scotland and northern England jobs boost

George Osborne has announced the level at which unemployment is falling and said Scotland and the north of England are benefiting most from the creation of full-time jobs.

Our Political Correspondent Paul Brand is watching the Autumn Statement.

Housebuilding and small businesses to benefit in Autumn statement

George Osborne will appeal today for voters to let him finish the job of overhauling the economy, despite rising borrowing and the prospect of more painful spending cuts.

Autumn Statement announced today Credit: PA

Among the measures expected to be announced in the Autumn Statement are:

  • Funding and guarantees to unlock around #1 billion in investment for small and medium sized businesses, and an extension of the Funding for Lending scheme specifically focusing on smaller firms
  • A review of business rates to remove 'roadblocks' to growth
  • Plans for the Government to directly commission housebuilding on public land for the first time in more than 40 years
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