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Fuel duty frozen for seventh year in row

Fuel duty has been held at 57.95p per litre since the March 2011 Budget Credit: PA

Speaking in his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond cancelled next year's planned rise in fuel duty.

It's the seventh successive year that the tax has been frozen.

In the South West, where many people rely on their car to get around and run their business along a network of long roads, this should be good news.

Mr Hammond said: "This will save the average car driver £130 a year and the average van driver £350 a year.

Small businesses to benefit as Rural Rate Relief raised to 100%

Rural Rate Relief is to be increased to 100% giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2900.

Who gets rural rate relief?

  • if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000
  • if you are the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • if you are the only pub or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500

Autumn Statement: huge investment in transport

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund of £23 billion to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over next five years.

Setting out his first Autumn Statement, Mr Hammond said the fund will "directly contribute" to raising Britain's productivity.

The new funding commitments include an additional £1.1bn of investment in English local transport networks.

Details of allocation are yet to emerge - so it is not yet clear how the West Country will actually benefit, and no guarantees that this extra funding will come our way.

However, a hint dropped by the Prime Minister to a South West MP could mean that the West Country is likely to receive more support for its rail infrastructure.

It was a timely announcement - the region is still suffering from a 48 hour disruption on the trains to and from the South West after a spate of bad weather caused flooding and debris on rail routes.

Chancellor: My ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G

The Chancellor has promised to invest over £1 billion pounds in the country's digital infrastructure.

In his Autumn Statement, Phillip Hammond pledged to sustain the effort to rollout faster broadband.

If it goes ahead, it will be welcome news for the West Country - where many homes, businesses and whole communities face daily frustrations from a lack of a decent internet connection

The news was welcomed by MPs from across the region:

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PM drops hint of more support for South West infrastructure in Autumn Statement

Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay, asked about support for the rail network during PMQs Credit: Parliament.tv

The Prime Minister has given a strong nod to a West Country MP that there will be transport improvements for the South West announced in the Autumn Statement.

You can hear her answer to Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay, here:

I suggest that he is a little more patient and listens very carefully [in the Chancellor's Autumn statement.]

– Theresa May, Prime Minister
  1. National

Chancellor prepares for 'new chapter' in Britain's history

Chancellor Philip Hammond has left Downing Street to deliver his first Autumn Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said his first Autumn Statement "is focused on preparing and supporting the economy as we begin writing a new chapter in our country's history".

He sent out a tweet shortly before leaving 11 Downing Street to head to the House of Commons.

Mr Hammond will deliver the Statement after Prime Minister's Questions.

  • Watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page from 12.30pm.
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