Moray MP Douglas Ross has hailed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement as “terrific news” for local people and communities across his constituency.
Douglas says a number of the measures in the Autumn Statement will deliver “huge benefits” for Moray and says he is “delighted” the Chancellor listened to his calls for whisky duty to be frozen until at least August next year.
He says that will be met with relief among the industry in Moray – which is home to the most distilleries of any constituency in the UK – following last year’s duty rise.
Douglas also says the cut in the headline rate of national insurance by two pence from 12 per cent to ten per cent is a “real shot in the arm” for people across Moray, with thousands of individuals and businesses across Moray set to benefit from the cut, which will be brought in from January 6.
The Chancellor also abolished Class Two National Insurance Payments for the self-employed as well as cutting their Class Four National Insurance contributions from nine per cent to eight per cent.
He also says that combined with rise in the National Living Wage to £11.44 an hour – which will be extended to include all those aged 21 and over – as well as benefits being uplifted by 6.7% and pensions by 8.5%, is further evidence of the UK Government’s commitment to support people of all ages, and make work pay.
He has also called on the SNP-Green government to match the UK Government’s decision to give 75 per cent rates relief to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses for another year south of the border.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “This Autumn Statement from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is full of terrific news and will deliver huge benefits for my people across Moray.
“I am absolutely delighted that the Chancellor listened to my calls to freeze whisky duty until August next year. The industry is hugely important for the local economy and jobs in Moray and I’m sure many local people will be raising a dram to this freeze announced by Jeremy Hunt.
“The cut of two pence in the headline rate of national insurance contributions is a real shot in the arm for employees and businesses in Moray, who will begin to see the benefits of this in a matter of weeks with emergency legislation laid this week to bring in this tax cut as quickly as possible.
“I know that times continue to be tough for many people of all ages in Moray due to the effects of the global cost-of-living crisis, which is why the uplifts to the National Living Wage, benefits such as Universal Credit and the state pension are extremely welcome.
“Times are also still extremely challenging for businesses across Moray. The Chancellor has delivered welcome rates relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses south of the border. The onus is now on the SNP-Green government to match that for businesses here in Moray and across Scotland.
“The UK Conservative government’s Autumn Statement has delivered for Moray and I warmly welcome the measures he has taken to support people and businesses across the area.”