Huge strides are being made locally this month – well over 30,000 residents in North East Hampshire have been vaccinated so far – over a third of local people – with 99.8% of over 65s having been vaccinated in the North Hampshire and Farnham CCG area. Nationally, over 24 million people have been vaccinated as I write this today. Having visited two of the local vaccination centres myself, I can testify to the enormous effort being made by our medical and volunteer teams – it’s no wonder our area is storming ahead!
I know this has been a tough time. HM Government has sought to help as many people as possible by providing £407 billion in extra support. I know that this support has very much been welcomed locally and has helped countless people and businesses weather the storm.
The best way to help people and businesses out of these troubled times is to reopen the economy in line with the roadmap. Last week, the Chancellor set out his plan for Britain’s recovery. Businesses – big and small – in North East Hampshire will be able to access new grants and loans; benefit from the continuation in the VAT and business rates reduction; an extension to the Self-Employed Income Support and ‘Furlough’ Schemes; and a doubling of the apprenticeships payments for all new hires, of any age.
To help household finances further, the planned increases on fuel and alcohol duty have been cancelled, which may be helpful to you as we begin to see family and friends again soon! And I know many people will be pleased to know that there will now be an extension of the Stamp Duty cut by three months, plus – being in an area with higher-than-average house prices – it’s fantastic news that there should be more 95% LTV mortgages available for those looking to make the step from tenant to homeowner.
The programme is working. People in North East Hampshire are being offered a vaccine. There is further to go, but the roadmap is clear and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter still. For the latest updates, you can follow me on Facebook (“Ranil Jayawardena MP” – original, I know!) or sign up to my newsletter at: ranil.uk/newsletter