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Hospice and business cheered by new bugdet

Canterbury’s Tory MP leads the praise for George Osborne

THE Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement, which laid out sweeping changes to the country’s stamp duty, VAT and income tax, has had a positive response from some in the district. George Osborne cut the cost for people buying homes worth less than £937,000 and introduced a new tax for multinational firms trying to shift their UK profits out of the country. The city’s Tory MP, Julian Brazier, said that he was “delighted” with the statement. He said:

“It was really good to hear that the deficit is coming down faster than people expected. We are therefore able to afford these measures to help local people.”

Examples singled out by Mr Brazier included the cut in stamp duty, which he said wouldmake it easier for young people to buy a house, “the large sum of money set aside for flood defences”, and a new arrangement for hospices, under which VAT will be refunded.


The news was also welcomed by Sam Rider, the fundraising director for Pilgrims Hospice. Mr Rider said:

“The total allowance would be spread across the 200 or more hospices in the UK. It is obviously good news.”

But Mr Rider said it was unclear how much of the refund would go to the city’s hospice. He added:

“Talks are still taking place between national body Hospice UK and the Treasury and until they have agreed on the detail, we will not know what the changes mean for Pilgrims Hospice.”

Whitstable Chamber of Commerce president Brian Hitcham welcomed the review of business rates, saying:

“Anything that reduces business overheads for small businesses is always welcome, so extending the business rates relief is a very positive step.”

He said plans to freeze fuel duty were also good news and extending exemption on firms paying national insurance on apprentices under 21 to under-25s could boost employment. He said:

“This may encourage more employers to take on more youngsters.”

Nigel Hancock, of the Bay Independent Retail group, said although the business rates review was a good idea it would have little impact on Herne Bay, which is populated by micro businesses, most of which do not pay business rates. But he said the freeze on fuel could be a help, adding:

“That is always welcome as the main costs for micro businesses are rent and things like costs of delivery and visiting customers. so fuel prices have an impact.”

Herne Bay Times, December 10th 2014

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