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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Conservative Party Candidate for York Outer
Any reference to Julian Sturdy being a Member of Parliament on this website predates the dissolution of Parliament and the 2024 General Election campaign

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York Press column: All action ahead of Easter

York Press column: All action ahead of Easter

It has been a jam-packed couple of weeks since my last column where I had an opportunity to reflect on the Chancellor’s Budget. I want to begin by highlighting the fantastic news that inflation has dropped to 3.4 per cent – the lowest in two and a half years. When the Prime Minister came to

Julian works with Parkinson’s UK

This week in Parliament, Julian had a really positive meeting with Laura from Parkinson’s...

Julian meets with Minister to discuss Renters (Reform) Bill

Alongside Andy Simpson of York Residential Lettings Association, Julian met with Jacob Young MP...

Julian supports Dogs Trust plea to end puppy smuggling

Julian has pledged his support on the issue of puppy smuggling today at a...

Julian welcomes Budget boost for York’s economy and public services

October 27, 2021

It is reassuring to see higher than expected economic growth predicted of at least 6% this year and next, although we cannot be complacent and must support workers and businesses to actually deliver this.

Given the potential for the pandemic to have a dire impact on employment, for young people especially, it is a big relief to see predictions of peak unemployment of some 12% revised down again, to just over 5%.

I have campaigned hard for assistance to help York’s large retail, hospitality and leisure sector recover from covid, and therefore warmly welcome the Chancellor’s introduction of a special 50% business rates discount up to £110,000 for 12 months for these industries, safeguarding jobs and small enterprises on local high streets. However, there is still more to do to reduce business rates unfairness, and I will continue pushing the Chancellor to accelerate his work on this.

Before the Budget, I wrote to Rishi Sunak requesting a beer tax overhaul to help York’s pubs, still rebuilding after being badly hit by the virus, so was very glad to see today’s announcement of a targeted 5% duty cut on draught beer and cider, supporting these vital community centres and our region’s brewing heritage.

The danger of a backlog in routine NHS surgery and procedures from covid has been a real concern of mine, so having frequently lobbied the government on this I really welcome the £5.9 billion of earmarked funding for new NHS operating theatres, facilities and equipment to beat the backlog. This is part of a huge wider funding commitment by the government to the health service, supporting our NHS workers with a budget increase of some £44 billion from £133 to £177 billion across 2019-24.

York having long suffered from school underfunding based on the historic funding formula enacted by the previous Labour government, I was glad to see the Chancellor build further on the 6% funding increase I helped secure in 2019, with a further national per pupil increase in school funding of over £1500 per pupil. I am particularly happy to see the tripling of funding for Special Educational Needs, having previously successfully campaigned on behalf of local parents for funding boosts.

We can only guarantee future livelihoods for our children and pay for our welfare state if we invest now in the technology and science that will create the growth and jobs of the future, so I very much welcome the 50% cash increase in research and development investment, very relevant for forward-looking local economies like York.

Having previously lobbied Ministers privately on helping hardworking families for which Universal Credit has been a lifeline during coronavirus, I am glad to see Rishi Sunak adjust the taper rate and Work Allowance, assisting low income households by well over £1000 and effective in time for Christmas.

However, I have concerns that all these good measures could be marred if rising prices erode family budgets. The Chancellor said inflation is over 3% now and likely to average 4% next year, so I expect the government to be vigilant and protect households against hikes in living costs, for instance by delivering the fuel duty freeze.

Above all, to support local livelihoods and public services, we need to sustain economic recovery from covid, and I will push Ministers to ensure our ongoing virus response does not damage growth.