THIS week in Parliament has been dominated by the Spring Budget.

Budgets are all about the nation’s finances, how we are going to grow the economy, and how the Chancellor will raise the money he needs – rather than on public service spending, which is generally set separately in the public spending review.

The perilous state of the global economy made this year’s Budget particularly difficult, and the need to maintain economic stability even more important so that people’s jobs and mortgages are not put at risk.

Since 2010, the UK economy has grown more quickly than Germany, France and Italy, and the International Monetary Fund confirmed that it expects that to be repeated over the next few years.

After Putin illegally invaded Ukraine, spiralling price rises have hit every major European economy.

Because the Government has stuck to its plan, inflation has more than halved from its peak of 11 per cent down to four per cent. Now, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility predict that it will fall below 2 per cent this summer, meaning that prices are now going up much less quickly than most people’s wages and pensions. Mortgage rates are now starting to fall and the difficult decisions that were needed to bring down inflation means they are likely to fall further throughout this year, relieving some of the pressure from families on fixed-term mortgages.

For the past couple of years, the priority has been to help people with the rising cost of living, with measures such as capping energy bills, cutting fuel duty and payments for families on low incomes being worth an average of £3,400 per family.

Now, with inflation falling back down to normal levels, the priority needs to be making sure that people can keep more of the money that they earn.

While the global economy still faces a lot of challenges, the fundamentals of our nation’s economy are strong. So that’s why we can afford to cut taxes for hardworking families.

National Insurance – which is just a second income tax on working people by another name – rates were cut by two per cent in January and the Budget is cutting this tax by a further two per cent from April. Together, those cuts will mean that somebody in Dudley South earning an average wage will be £75 per month better off than they were last December. This will make the effective personal tax rate for workers on average wages the lowest they have been for nearly 50 years – and lower than in France, Germany, America or any other major economy.

This is good for jobs, good for the economy — and ensures that work always pays. The ambition is to carry on reducing National Insurance rates until they are zero, eliminating this tax on working people altogether.

We know that, even with inflation much lower now than it was a year ago, many people are still struggling and so some of the measures to help people with cost of living – such as the Household Support Fund, the cut in fuel duty and business rate reductions for our high street shops, community pubs and small cafes – are being extended.

This week’s Budget contained important measures to help working people, small businesses, and to get our economy growing so that people can enjoy a higher standard of living and our public services can get more money.