Oliver's Column for My News - April 2020

I am writing this article just after The Chancellor has delivered his first Budget.  

I am aware that by the time it is published, events in relation to the coronavirus are likely to have moved on significantly.  

I, of course, am actively engaged on a daily basis and while I am sure events will have moved on by the time you read this, the underlying principles of our approach will remain the same.  

We will always listen to expert advice and evidence provided by the scientists and take a rigorous, fact-based approach as we respond to this enormous challenge. We will do everything we can to tackle the virus and keep people safe – this includes the Budget announcement of £30 billion package to boost the economy through this outbreak. 

There were some good measures announced in the Budget that will help our local area. As many of you will know, I am a big real ale fan and love visiting our excellent local pubs and continue to campaign to support them.  

In the Budget, support was announced for our pubs by introducing a new pubs discount. This pubs discount will be introduced this month, with £1,000 being taken off the business rates bills of small pubs. We will also freeze duty rates on beer, spirits, wine and cider.  

In Radlett and Bushey, our local businesses form an important part of our communities and high streets. Both during the election campaign and afterwards, I visited many local businesses who have discussed with me the pressure they feel under. The plan to expand and increase the business rates discount will help our great local high streets. 

Finally, I know everyone remains frustrated about the state of our roads and potholes. I am glad the Chancellor listened to my continual representations and announced £500 million per year to 2025 to help tackle potholes. This is an unprecedented investment and I know it will have a great effect on our roads in Bushey and Radlett.