Chancellor puts focus on tax measures rather than major infrastructure projects

City of London Photo by João Barbosa on Unsplash

The Chancellor’s focus was vey much on taxation and personal wealth but there were a handful of announcements for infrastructure schemes and industries across the country.

Jeremy Hunt mentioned the film industry, nuclear power and the life sciences.

He also added that the Government remained committed to its levelling up agenda.

The Chancellor claimed that since the Conservatives started its levelling-up policy in 2019, there has been an increase in new jobs and investment outside London and the South East.

Hunt added that more powers will also be devolved in Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire and Surrey.

As part of the levelling up agenda he announced a North East trailblazer devolution deal and devolution plans for Surrey.

However, there were some eyebrows raised over a £242m investment for London’s Canary Wharf.

The financial centre has been hit by some major banks rethinking how much office space they need and the plan is to create 8,000 new homes in the area.

Other announcements included measures for Cambridge, to fund a development corporation in the county.

And there was also money for North Wales, including cash  to fund the renovation of Theatre Clwyd.

And the government will be purchasing the Wylfa site on Anglesey, where there are plans for a new nuclear power station.

There was support for the film industry, which is one of the fastest growing in the UK.

The chancellor confirmed that the Autumn Statement announcement that the rate of tax credit available to the industry will rise by 5% and an 80% cap for visual effects costs will be removed.

He said: “We have become Europe’s largest film and TV production centre. At the current rate of expansion, we will be second only to Hollywood globally by the end of 2025.”