North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones has welcomed an eye-catching Budget. He said George Osbornes announcement today (Wednesday) that people could now earn £11,500 without paying income tax would put more money in the pockets of 31 million working people. Duties on fuel, wine and beer have been frozen but a new sugar tax was announced on fizzy drinks. Mr Osborne also warned of further cuts in public spending of £3.5billion by 2020. Mr Heaton-Jones news of an extra half a billion pounds to help the introduction of the new fairer funding formula for schools. He said: I and other rural MPs have fought for this, and I am delighted it is being delivered. It will be a real boost for schools in North Devon. Barnstaple was name checked in the Chancellors speech, as he said a typical corner shop in Barnstaple will pay no business rates while speaking of raising the threshold for small business rate relief that would see 600,000 no longer having to pay. However, the second increase to insurance premium tax (IPT) within months was also announced, taking the rate from 9.5% to 10%. The tax affects policies for cars, households and pets as well as private medical insurance. It will add nearly £50 to the average motor insurance policy for a young driver, the AA has warned. The North Devon Link Road again rated a mention in Budget background papers as they confirmed the launch of the Local Majors Fund the pot from which councils can bid for funds for road improvements. Mr Heaton-Jones said other news included the launch of the new Lifetime Isa: The government will contribute £1 for every £4 they save a great leg-up on the housing ladder. He added: The Chancellor said specifically that hes listening to the new group of Conservative MPs across the southwest. We really are influencing government decisions in a way that hasnt happened in years, and I will keep lobbying hard for North Devon.