Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

A Budget that delivers for the Economy in Norwich and the Country

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 28 October 2021 10:08

The Chancellor has delivered the Budget and Spending Review (SR), which shows the Conservative Government is delivering a stronger economy for people in whole of the UK, including here in Norwich. The Office for Budget Responsibility has also published their economic outlook. 

The plan outlined today was all about making our economy stronger after the pandemic. Despite was has happened, there are grounds to be optimistic. 

Firstly, it is great news that the economy has emerged from the pandemic with fewer scars than we initially feared. That is in part thanks to the successful vaccine rollout – which allowed us to re-open the economy largely on schedule.

Credit for that also needs to go to everyone here in Norwich and in the whole country. Thanks to you following the health guidance, getting our jabs and protecting our community, we were able to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.  This meant the Government could fully re-open all parts of our economy on July 19th.  

Locally, I have recently met with business owners and workers to hear more about what the re-opening has meant to them. 

Looking forward, I share the optimistic vision the Chancellor has for the economy and the country.

The Office for Budget Responsibility agree - they have said that the vaccines’ high degree of effectiveness, combined with consumers’ and businesses’ excellent degree of adaptability to public health restrictions, has meant that the economy has recovered faster than expected.

The economy is now expected to grow by 6.5 per cent in 2021 (over 2 percentage points faster than predicted), and unemployment to rise less than expected to around 5 per cent this winter. In other words, more people are in work than we all might have thought at the worst point.


Investing in growth

To deliver on the Prime Minister’s vision for a high-wage, high-skilled, high-productivity economy, the government is putting its Plan for Growth into action, with significant investment in innovation, infrastructure and skills. 

I welcomed seeing that the Government will be increasing public Research and Development (R&D) investment to record levels: £20 billion by 2024-25.

Investment in R&D and innovation will help drive economic growth and create the jobs of the future, here in Norwich and all around the country. 

This is an increase of around a quarter in real terms and makes significant progress towards the government’s ambition to spend £22 billion on R&D by 2026-27 and towards achieving the economy-wide target to invest 2.4% of GDP in R&D in 2027.

The Government is also seizing the opportunities of Brexit. High-skilled migration boosts innovation, jobs and competitiveness. So, new Scale-up, High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility visas will attract highly skilled people and support inward investment.

Alongside this, the Government is creating a Global Talent Network – launching in the Bay Area and Boston in the US, and Bengaluru in India – to find and bring talented people to the UK to work in key science and technology sectors.

There is also new support for our local high streets as they adapt and recover from the pandemic.

The government is introducing a new temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022-23, worth almost £1.7 billion. Over 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive at least 50 per cent off their business rates bills in 2022-23. This is very significant in a city like Norwich with many shops, cafes and entertainment places - and hundreds of jobs dependent on them.

The Chancellor also announced reform of our tonnage tax so that British merchant ships are rightly rewarded for flying the Union Jack to ensure the world knows that the UK maritime is open for business.

Regional airports will also be able to benefit from generous and extended business rates relief as flying opens up again. That, once again, supports hundreds of jobs here in Norwich connected to our local airport.

I hope you find this information helpful.  The Government’ is committed to the economy, and so am I for us in Norwich.  If I can help constituents with any matter, please do email me on or ring my constituency office on 01603 414756.