There's hugely welcome news for our area in the Budget today - most importantly that the Chancellor has pledged £14 million to prepare specific sites for two major new metals projects to move into the Mayoral Development Corporation site at Redcar. These will be announced in the next few weeks - leading to 1,500 high quality jobs.
The Budget also announced an additional £16.5 million for transport in the Tees Valley, on top of the £59 million pledged last year.
And the Budget also confirms plans for a Special Economic Area for the Development Corporation - the first time this status has been awarded and a first step towards a Free Zone!
I caught up with Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, to talk through the Budget and how it will help unlock growth and jobs in our area - please WATCH the video to hear our thoughts.
Beyond this, there's also important news on tax and pay:
- From April, the National Living Wage will increase from £7.83/hour to £8.21/hour. This will benefit around 2.4 million workers, and is a £690 annual pay rise for a full-time worker.
- There is an additional £2.7 billion for Universal Credit, meaning working parents and people with disabilities claiming UC will be £630 better off each year.
- The amount you earn before paying income tax will increase to £12,500 in April, meaning the typical basic rate taxpayer will pay £1,205/year less than they did when Conservatives replaced Labour in 2010.