King’s Lynn MP makes A47 pledge after Budget

Election Count at Lynnsport King's Lynn'Henry Bellingham ANL-150805-111717009

Election Count at Lynnsport King's Lynn'Henry Bellingham ANL-150805-111717009

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During his speech, chancellor George Osborne announced plans to establish a new roads fund, which will be financed by reforms to vehicle excise duty.

And Mr Bellingham welcomed the commitment to maintaining spending on major trunk roads, like the A47.

He told MPs: “In East Anglia we are really keen for the dualling of the A47 to be brought forward, and for the different programmes and schemes on that essential east-west trunk road to be given maximum priority.”

Under the chancellor’s plans, all new cars registered from April 2017 will be covered by one of three new excise duty bands – zero, standard or premium.

From 2020, the money generated from the rates will go into the new roads fund, which has been welcomed by some motoring groups for ringfencing cash for investment in roads.

Although plans to spend £300 million on improvements to the A47 were announced late last year, no schemes to improve the stretch through West Norfolk were included in the list to receive cash.

Other key points in the Budget included proposals to increase the personal allowance, which is the amount that workers can earn without paying income tax, and introduce a minimum living wage for the first time next year.

There were also further reforms to the welfare system, including plans to reduce the cap on the maximum amount that can be paid to claimants to £20,000 a year, a four-year freeze in working age benefits and tougher rules on tax credits for new claimants.

Mr Bellingham admitted there was “a lot of work to do” to explain the reasons for the changes.

But he added: “Above all, they will help those people who are in work and encourage more people to get into work, providing a big incentive at a time when jobs are becoming ever more available.”

However, Labour’s Jo Rust said: “Cutting tax credits isn’t going to help people get back into work.”

She did welcome the plan for a national living wage, but said the government had further disadvantaged young people by excluding them from that, reducing housing benefit entitlements and maintenance grants for university students.

She said: “We have got to consider how difficult it’s going to be for our young people.”