Friday, 5 March 2021

Welcome news in the Chancellor's Budget

On Wednesday the Chancellor announced his Spring Budget, which was full of good news for people across the Hexham constituency and the country as a whole. The Chancellor outlined his plans to support people and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond the end of the Prime Minister's roadmap for easing restrictions and to level up the economy across all regions of the UK.

Key announcements in the Chancellor's Budget include:

  • The extension of the furlough scheme until the end of September to ensure continued support for businesses, employees and their families
  • Two further grants for the self-employed, including those who are newly self-employed 
  • New Restart grants of up to £18, 000 and recovery loans to support local businesses to reopen
  • The opening of the new Levelling Up Fund for its first round of bids
  • The opening of a new Treasury campus in Darlington, as part of the Government's commitment to level up and spread opportunity across the whole country
This Budget will provide businesses and families across Tynedale with the support they need to get through the pandemic. The extension of financial support, including the furlough scheme and additional grants for the self-employed, will be a tremendous help to local businesses and individuals as we start to reopen the country and economy. I am especially thrilled at the announcement of a new Treasury campus in the North East, which signals that the Government is committed to delivering investment and opportunity across our region.

Further information about financial support available to businesses and individuals can be found here- https://www.guyopperman.co.uk/financial-support 




Monday, 1 March 2021

20 million vaccines!

The vaccine programme continues to go from strength to strength, with another milestone reached over the weekend- more than 20 million vaccines have now been administered across the UK. That works out as an average of more than 2.5 million doses per week or 1 in 3 adults vaccinated across the country.

In the Hexham constituency, 41.4% of people have now received a vaccine- a really incredible achievement by the NHS, volunteers, the Armed Forces and everyone involved with the vaccine rollout. 

The Prime Minister is aiming to have offered every adult a vaccine by the end of July. Everyone in the top four priority groups has now been offered a vaccine, and invites are now going out to those in groups 5 to 9.

Thank you to everyone who has come forward for their vaccine. Every jab makes a difference in our fight against Covid-19.



Thursday, 25 February 2021

Roadmap for easing restrictions

On Monday, the Prime Minister outlined his roadmap for cautiously easing the current lockdown restrictions in England. 

Thanks to the incredible ongoing success of the vaccine rollout, which has now vaccinated more than 18 million people across the UK, we are now in a position to start thinking about how we can gradually remove the current restrictions.

The roadmap sets out four stages for easing restrictions, with at least five weeks between each phase to allow the latest data to be examined. The data will be subjected to four key tests:

  • That the vaccine rollout continues successfully
  • That the evidence shows vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalisation and death
  • That infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations that would put the NHS under unsustainable pressure
  • That new variants of coronavirus do not cause additional concern
As the four tests are currently being met, the first stage of easing restrictions will begin on 8th March. On this date:
  • Schools and colleges will open for all students
  • Practical Higher Education courses can begin in-person learning
  • Exercise and recreation outdoors with your household or one other person can take place
  • Wraparound childcare, including sports activities, can resume for all children
  • Funerals can take place with up to 30 people attending, and weddings and wakes can take place with up to 6 guests
  • Care home residents will be able to name a visitor, who will be able to visit them regularly
Some further changes will also take place from 29th March, when schools go on Easter holidays:
  • The Rule of Six will return outdoors, including in private gardens
  • Organised outdoor sport (children and adults), all outdoor children's activities, outdoor sport and leisure facilities and outdoor parent and child groups (up to 15 people) can resume

Further easing of restrictions will take place in the coming weeks as long as the four tests continue to be met, with Stage 2 no earlier than 12th April, Stage 3 no earlier than 17th June, and Stage 4 no earlier than 21st June. 

I welcome the announcement of this roadmap, which means that after an incredibly difficult year, we can all now see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, please keep following the national restrictions that are still in place, in order to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the NHS.

Further details about the roadmap for easing restrictions can be found here-