Last week, the Chancellor's Autumn Statement made tough but necessary decisions to restore economic stability and tackle inflation.

Like many countries around the world, the UK is facing profound economic challenges. Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the Covid pandemic have cost our country billions.

I wanted to touch on some of the headline matters, based on the issues raised with me in recent constituency surgeries and correspondence.

The state pension will rise in line with inflation – 10.1%. I’ve repeatedly emphasised with the Prime Minister and Chancellor the importance of restoring the Triple Lock to help protect pensioners' spending power because it offers vital economic security for many people in East Devon.

The standard minimum income guarantee in Pension Credit will also increase in line with inflation from April 2023. Additionally, I also spoke with the Chancellor regarding benefits. He announced that working age and disability benefits will rise by inflation, supporting the most vulnerable.

I am particularly pleased to learn that there will now be £4.4 billion of additional funding for schools over the next two years.

I’ve spoken with several East Devon school heads in recent weeks to raise their concerns about recruitment and funding with the Secretary of State for Education. The extra money will help schools locally. I’ll continue to work with education leaders across East Devon.

Devon County Council will receive more money for adult and children’s social care in 2023-24 and 2024-25 through the Better Care Fund and ringfenced grants. In the meantime, the council will get an extra £3 million this winter to help get people out of hospital and into social care.

Our borrowing costs are broadly back in line with comparable countries. Although we will now see some tax increases, the Chancellor has not raised headline rates of taxation. Tax as a percentage of GDP will increase by just 1% over the next five years.

In difficult circumstances, the Autumn Statement protects those on the lowest income, restores economic stability, and tackles inflation. I am pleased the Chancellor clearly heard my representations about the triple lock, benefits, and school budgets.