I challenged the Tory Chancellor on his failure to make any real progress on rural broadband roll-out - a huge issue for farmers and other rural businesses in this constituency. Last week I met with UTASS, Raby Estates and CLA North to discuss the further delays in the digital rollout in Teesdale.
As a member of the Treasury Select Committee last year I pushed the government to delay their plans to make small businesses keep digital records and provide quarterly updates to HMRC for their VAT. It is clear to me that until farmers and other rural businesses have efficient access to broadband the government should not expect them to complete government paperwork online.
I am very disappointed that the Chancellor refused to extend the deadline until our connectivity is improved and instead has chosen to ignore the concerns of rural business in the Bishop Auckland constituency.