COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks household bills and the autumn statement - The Leamington Observer

COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks household bills and the autumn statement

THE TEMPERATURES have really dropped this past week and it seems winter has properly begun. I know these colder temperatures will be concerning for so many as they battle with the cost of turning on the heating and the impact this will have on household bills, particularly with the price cap due to increase in January.

There are a number of schemes and organisations who can offer advice if you are struggling or concerned about your energy and/or household bills. I included a number of them in my cost-of-living booklet, if you would like a copy of it, please do drop me at email at [email protected] or you can access a version online at

Turning to Parliament, last week we saw the Chancellor deliver the Autumn Statement in which the Government update MPs on the state of the economy and announce any tax and spending decisions.

The Chancellor, Mr Jeremy Hunt, was keen to present this Autumn Statement as one of tax cuts but the reality is that at the tax burden at the end of this Parliament is forecast to be much higher than it was at the start of the Parliament. The Chancellor should not seek to market this statement as something it is not.

You may have seen that there has been a lot of mention in the news of something economists call ‘fiscal drag’. Put simply, this is where, as a result of freezing income tax thresholds, as Mr Hunt did back in March, many people are ‘dragged’ into paying tax or paying a higher rate of tax. It has also been called a ‘stealth tax’ as it conceals the impact on people as they end up paying a higher rate of tax, despite the Chancellor claiming tax cuts.

In the week or so since the Autumn Statement was shared with us, we have seen some stark analysis of what it means in reality. This action from the Government will see 7 million people pay higher levels of tax, 4 million people who had never previously been liable having to pay income tax and 3 million people who will be moving from the lower tax threshold to a higher level.

As MPs we are given the chance to respond to the Chancellor’s statement over the following three days. I was able to respond the following day and expressed my sincere concern about the impact his statement would have on people up and down the country. If you are interested, my full speech is available at

Elsewhere, the news from the Middle East where the cessation of hostilities enabling Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be swapped is welcome. The temporary truce is good news but all sides now need to bring about an enduring ceasefire.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any issues or concerns you would like to raise with me. I can be reached on [email protected] or on 01926 882006.

Matt Western

MP for Warwick and Leamington


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.


We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.