Budget, Brexit and Business as usual


A few people think there is no other Parliamentary business going on other than Brexit-related measures.  Of course, that isn’t the case!  Having met Members of the National Farmers Union locally , to talk about the Agriculture Bill which is going through its Parliamentary stages, I know there are constituents monitoring bills like this and getting in touch about all kinds of issues. In that sense it is very much still “business as usual” and other necessary legislation is being pursued as the Brexit process goes on.

For example, Government Ministers, in the week beginning 13 October, announced 27 measures.   I’d like you to guess how many of these were directly about Brexit and will give the number at the end of this article. Write down your estimate now…

Then, of course, there was the Budget, which took place on a Monday for the first time since 1962. It was also the first major financial statement to be delivered on a Monday since the global banking crisis in 2008. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was upbeat about the improvements to the economy, supported as this is by the increased numbers of people in work.

Both employment and wages are rising and this has generated more income, enabling us to spend more on public services which people in Chesham & Amersham value. That includes more money for the NHS and mental health services. There’s £650 million in funding for our councils, for adult social care; Buckinghamshire will receive £1,671,318 from this fund.

Our Buckinghamshire schools will receive, for capital expenditure, about £10,000 for primary schools and £50,000 for secondary schools.

There will be funding to improve our high streets and Buckinghamshire will also get its share of the £420 million fund to mend potholes, bridges and tunnels.

The answer to the quiz, now.

Out of 27 government announcements, only 2 were directly about Brexit. The list began with community radio and ended with funding for children’s TV. Across the board it covered NHS winter funding and equipment, housing, transport, hate crime, trade, and adult digital skills, to name just a few.

[This article was previously published in the Buckinghamshire Examiner and the Buckinghamshire Advertiser.]