Imran Ahmad Khan MP has spoken in the debate on the 2021 budget.
Imran Ahmad Khan MP: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, it’s a privilege to speak on the first day of the Budget.
Today’s budget is a purposeful response to truly unprecedented circumstances. The economic and social impact inflicted by the pandemic has radically altered our world. The UK economy has just experienced the worst recession in hundreds of years. Millions of individuals, and tens of thousands of employers, have turned to the Government and received support.
I congratulate and thank my Right Honourable Friend the Chancellor for presenting a budget with the singular purpose of tackling the challenges we face.
Whilst I would object to over-reaching state intervention, this crisis requires unprecedented action.
We in the Conservative Party understand that in times of genuine national crisis, the state is the only entity that possesses the necessary machinery and resources to respond effectively.
Today’s budget does not herald a permanent or evolutionary change in the nature of the State.
I am pleased that the Furlough Scheme and other support mechanisms will continue whilst our remarkable vaccination programme advances, and we emerge from lockdown. These are vital recovery support mechanisms.
I would like to thank the Chancellor for the additional support provided specifically for my constituency, Wakefield. £25 million has been allocated to Wakefield’s Towns fund, £5 million from DCMS and £150,000 from the Levelling Up Fund which will be used to scope and frame innovative bids that have the potential to reset, repurpose and revitalise Wakefield.
The £25 million will be instrumental in the redevelopment of Wakefield, including areas such as Old Westgate Station, Little Westgate and Bread Street, Kirkgate Gateway Neighbourhood and the wider Kirkgate area. These rejuvenation projects will be a critical step in levelling up areas that have long felt left behind, ensuring that Wakefield, and other similar cities, are attractive places to live and work.
Once we enter a post-COVID age, the Government must rely upon the power and dynamism of the unfettered market-economy to drive forward our economic growth and prosperity.
I would like to conclude by congratulating my Right Honourable Friend the Chancellor for today’s budget, and for providing the support mechanism so desperately needed by our businesses and industries. I look forward with optimism to HMG returning to traditional Conservative values, reducing the remit of the State, and unleashing the power of our businesses and markets to drive forward growth.