This year’s Finance Bill went through its remaining stages in the House of Commons, writes MP Anne Marie Morris.

It is a large Bill that comprises the Chancellor’s plan for the economy over the financial year. 

The major policy changes which were mentioned in the Autumn statement which will come into force with this Bill are the abolition of the pensions lifetime allowance and permanently establishing capital allowance full expensing. 

The Treasury Committee, on which I sit, wanted to better understand the role of UK Government Investments, a company wholly owned by the Treasury that provides advice on corporate financial matters. They deal with the bailouts of failing companies who cannot be allowed to fail because of the impact on consumers and the economy. 

The most recent example was the failure of Bulb Energy. Such a large supplier could not simply have its business and contracts transferred. Instead, and very unusually, the government stepped in to manage the purchase and supply of energy to Bulb customers. In the end the cost of this intervention to the taxpayer has been significantly less than expected.

It’s local budget time again and this week we debated the local government settlement figures. I also had a meeting with John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, to better understand what the council was proposing in its budget and how it would manage the ever increasing costs of adult social care and children’s services.

I have been working behind the scenes to help the council get specific support in these areas and I am pleased to say that was successful. The council has yet to consider and vote on the budget proposals.  I appreciated being given the heads up on what was coming. 

Given the challenges we have been having sorting out the banking hubs for both Dawlish and Teignmouth I wanted to get to the top of the tree, the banks, who fund and have set the criteria for these hubs to explain the problems and what isn’t working. UK Finance are the trade body for the banks so that was a good place to start. 

I met with them this week and I am pleased to say they listened. While clearly going forward I want to see the system changed so it works better, I also want to be sure we do get the hubs we need and quickly. Currently Lloyds are only obliged to remain open in Teignmouth until July this year. 

While that will change under new regulations, those regulations are not yet there. So, I am asking Lloyds to look at an extension while at the same time asking Cash Access to expedite finding a new home for local banking. 

Hurrah! The government finally announced this week a recovery plan for dentistry, something we as Devon MPs have been lobbying for, for some time. Much of what we wanted was there. The plan will provide for a new mobile dental provision – this has already been piloted in Cornwall. 

This will be really important for our rural and remote communities. In addition, the government will pay £20,000 as an incentive payment to dentists willing to work in those parts of the country least well provided with dentists which definitely includes us. Exactly how many of these offers will be made and in which parts of the country has yet to be finalised but 

I shall certainly be lobbying hard for our fair share. Additional measures include extra payments for dentists taking on new patients and for treating patients who have not seen a dentist for over two years. 

Dental education and care for babies and children was a top priority and we will see much more work in family hubs and primary year schools to prevent dental decay.

I was delighted to end the week at Broadhempston Parish Council meeting. Great to see everyone and hear about possible planned events including the summer fete!

As always, if you would like to book a surgery appointment (in-person or virtual) or raise a specific issue, please call my office on 01626 368277 or email [email protected] to arrange an appointment.