This week, the Chancellor will present the Government’s Autumn Statement – the new budget for the year from next April. It is a big moment in the Parliamentary calendar, as it’s usually a time when a Government puts its priorities into action. However, after a wafer-thin King’s Speech, the prospect of this offering real change is slim.

I am writing this ahead of the budget. Three days out, we’re not hearing radical thinking from Jeremy Hunt’s Treasury. Instead, we’re hearing rumours of cuts to inheritance tax – which a full 96% of people in the South West don’t pay.

As the Chancellor of the Exchequer toured the TV studios at the weekend, he only wanted to talk about one thing - the scope for tax cuts. I welcome moves to cut taxes, provided it is targeted at those who need the support the most. In Government, Liberal Democrats made this a key priority; we doubled the personal allowance - as we said we would in our manifesto - and eliminated tax paid on the first £10,000 that people earned.

While Britain is sinking, this Conservative Government proposes to tinker around the edges.

I will be looking out for help to address the state of our local NHS, the hollowing out of rural high streets, our crumbling roads, and for those who will be hard pressed by rising energy bills - particularly young parents and pensioners.

When the Government made a Statement in the House of Commons about levelling-up this week, they missed off the South West altogether from a list of regions that were set to benefit. I thought it was a mistake in the way that the Minister delivered it, but when I consulted the pre-prepared script afterwards, it was apparent that it was no mistake.

The Prime Minister loves to set out multi-point plans but tends not to follow through on his promises. Just this week we found out he’s now dropped the NHS waiting list from his rehashed ‘Five Point Plan’.

We will see if this week’s Autumn Statement is another example of press-release politics. Let’s hope that it is not all flashy announcements, as the West Country needs help with addressing the pressing issues that our communities face.