Rachel hailed the Chancellor’s Spring Statement yesterday (Wednesday, 13 March) as a plan for a bright future.

An extra £100 million is to be made available to police forces in England and Wales in the next year to pay for additional overtime targeted specifically on knife crime.

Rachel said: “People will be acutely aware of the recent spate of incidents just up the road in Birmingham and across the UK, and I very much welcome this money which will make a real difference on the ground.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond also announced Government funding for free sanitary products in all English secondary schools and colleges.

Rachel added: “This is ground-breaking work by this Government, and although these announcements were somewhat drowned out by other business in Parliament yesterday, we ought to be shouting about it from the rooftops.”

Additionally, small firms were given a boost in their fight against late payments when the Chancellor said listed companies will be required to review and detail their payment practices in annual reports.

Other highlights of the Spring Statement include:

1. Wages will rise faster than previously expected. Wage growth has been revised up in every year to 2023, with wages growing faster than prices in each year and reaching a record high rate of 3.3 per cent growth in 2023.

2. Employment will continue to rise. 600,000 more jobs will be created by 2023.

3. The economy will grow in every year. The economy is expected to grow at 1.2 per cent this year, faster than Germany.

4. The deficit has been revised down in each of the next five years. The deficit will be £3 billion lower than expected this year, down to 1.1 per cent of GDP from almost 10 per cent under Labour.

Rachel said: “Labour opposed all the decisions we took to get the economy back on track – if we’d listened to them there would be fewer jobs and higher taxes on working families.

“Unemployment went up by nearly half a million when they were in power, and they now want one thousand billion pounds of extra borrowing and taxes, which would send debt spiraling and take us back to square one. And just like last time, working people would pay the price.

“This Spring Statement sets out our plan for a bright future for Britain – creating a digital economy people can have confidence in, redoubling our commitment to skills and world-class infrastructure, staying at the cutting edge of clean growth and tackling the big challenges like knife crime and period poverty in secondary schools.”