My Westminster Diary in this week’s (April 10th) Redditch Advertiser:

Last weekend, 32 million people across the country saw their taxes cut – saving the typical taxpayer £130 over the year – delivering on our manifesto promise one year early and giving hard-working people a well-earned tax cut.

This is one of the many reasons I’m a Conservative. One of the main motivators for getting into politics was to improve the lives of people in Redditch, and I believe tax cuts and wage rises, introduced by this Conservative Government, are helping to achieve this.

We have a good story to tell about the economy, and I won’t apologise for continuing to talk about. A strong economy means investment in vital public services, more people in work, more money in people’s pockets and low taxes.

We’ve done a lot in Government since 2010, including increasing the Personal Allowance – the amount you earn before you start paying income tax – to £12,500 a year earlier than planned so the typical taxpayer will be £1,205 better off than in 2010.

We’ve made the biggest ever increase to the National Living Wage – boosting the earnings of the lowest paid. The National Living Wage has increased from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, representing an increase to a full-time minimum wage worker’s annual earnings of over £690.

From April 8, the annual work allowances in Universal Credit will rise by over £1,000. This change will see 2.4 million families keep up to an extra £630 per year of what they earn.

We’re cutting business rates by a third for up to 90% of all retail properties. This is vital to helping unlock Redditch and allowing businesses, especially in the town centre, to grow and thrive.

We’ve also frozen fuel duty for the 9th successive year – keeping the costs of driving down. By next April, this will have saved the average car driver a cumulative £1,000.

It’s worth pointing out that Labour have voted against our measures to help people with the cost of living. These policies will have saved people over £7,800 by April 2020.

Despite all the uncertainty right now, our economy has grown every year since 2010, unemployment is at its lowest rate since 1975, Government borrowing so far this year was at its lowest since 2002 and inflation remains below the Bank of England target of 2%.

Let’s not talk our economy and our country down. We’ve made great progress since 2010, with plenty more still to do as we continue to improve the lives of people here in Redditch and across the country.