Eastbourne & Willingdon MP, Stephen Lloyd, has welcomed news that the Chancellor has listened to calls for a freeze on the duty paid on beer and fuel, topics the MP has been campaigning on in Westminster, but has labelled the changes to Universal Credit as just tinkering around the edges.

Stephen Lloyd MP said:

"There is some good news in this budget but a real fudge in other areas.

"I'm glad that Mr Hammond has paid notice to areas I've been campaigning on, including recently delivering a letter to his Treasury calling for a freeze on Beer Duty, which will help local pubs.

"I am however disappointed that the Chancellor has pinned his colours to pushing ahead with the roll-out of Universal Credit whilst tinkering around the edges. This was an opportunity for him to reinstate the money that George Osborne gutted from the new system, but instead, he shortened the 6-week wait for first payment, to 5 weeks. Still not good enough.

"There was also no commitment to properly fund schools. I'm of the opinion that 5,000 Head Teachers can't be wrong about the budget cuts their schools are facing, and I defy anyone to tell them they don't know what's going on in their own schools."

"There was also audible shock in the Chamber as he announced that the economic forecasts for the next five years have been slashed. It's going to be bumpy for UKplc and this was certainly no game-changer of a budget!"

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