Chancellor backs new trams and more help for business

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EXTRA trams are set to be built to relieve overcrowding on Sheffield’s supertram system as part of a series of infrastructure projects announced by Chancellor George Osborne to help kick-start the economy in his autumn Budget Statement.

The Government has given the go-ahead to the £14 million bid for four extra trams, which had been on hold.

Other projects approved include allocating £7 million towards a £20 million scheme providing loans for urban development projects in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, the rest of which will be financed by the European Union.

Businesses in Enterprise Zones including the one being created around Sheffield are being offered an extra tax break, and families are set to benefit with free childcare expanded to two- year-olds.

A planned 3p-a-litre rise in fuel duty in January has been cancelled and a further rise in August limited.

But public workers have pay rises capped at one per cent for the next two years.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg said: “There is a lot of good news for Sheffield.

“The Autumn Statement keeps Britain safe from the debt storm of the market turmoil in Europe and elsewhere.

“The Liberal Democrats have prioritised more childcare for thousands of families and more support to get young people into work.

“We’ve also set out a plan to get Britain building by investing in infrastructure and giving manufacturing in Sheffield and South Yorkshire the boost it deserves.

“The tax break we are offering businesses in the Sheffield Enterprise Zone will help create jobs and growth and allow the area to thrive.”