Reaction from Theresa Villiers MP on the Chancellor’s Spring Statement

“This is a positive Spring Statement showing that the economy is doing better than expected and the Government has made big progress on the controlling the deficit.

These financial statements always involve many facts and figures to wade through, but what today’s statement really means to ordinary working people is that they can have confidence there is a positive economic environment for jobs and prosperity. All this is good news for the people living in the Chipping Barnet constituency.

Manufacturing is on its strongest run for 50 years and the Government has achieved the first sustained fall in debt for 17 years.

The Government has also been able to spend more than £60 billion since the 2016 Autumn Statement on public services, including extra billions on the NHS and on infrastructure for the future, while continuing to reduce tax for millions of working families.

Challenges remain, and the only way to improve living standards consistently and deliver the high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future is to boost productivity. Productivity is starting to improve but remains an issue. The £31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund and increased spending in research and development to a 30-year will do much to help.

The country should be proud of its achievements. In 2010, the Conservatives inherited a mess with the Government having to borrow £1 in every £4 it spent. But now the facts speak for themselves. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has increased its growth estimate for 2017 and 2018. The British economy has now grown for eight consecutive years and is nearly 17 per cent bigger than it was in 2010. In that time, the deficit has been reduced by £108 billion, thanks to the hard work of the British people.