George Osborne’s Tory budget is geared more for the election than Britain’s recovery. The Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated economic growth of 2.7% for 2014 and yet the economy has not got back to the position it was in before the financial collapse. At the same time the deficit might be down, but Osborne previously stated that it would be gone by 2015, now the projection has changed to 2018. When the Chancellor says that the rich are making the biggest contribution, many working people know they are worst off and their living standards are falling.
Cllr Mick Lerry said: “ Many working people see income inequality growing as the rich are paying less tax and a reduction in the tax rate not ruled out by Cameron and Osborne. The 140 million announced for flood recovery for repairs and maintenance in all areas flooded is well below the 280 million asked for in the Somerset Recovery Plan. Once again the Public Sector will have to endure greater cuts in expenditure in real terms”.
The Chancellor also announced tax breaks for business investment after three years of cutting investment; he does appear to be repairing the damage of the 2010 budget, which did not support structural changes in the economy.
Prices have risen faster than wages
Low interest rates has had a big impact on savers and the boost to saving in the budget is good, but for many they have seen very little return on savings during the increase in the cost of living. Workers will also see some improvement with the personal allowance increase announced in last years budget, but implemented this April. At the same time the subsidy for childcare will need some scrutiny to establish how well off parents will be.
Cllr Mick Lerry stated: “Wages are down £1,600 a year since David Cameron became Prime Minister. The Office of Budget Responsibility confirmed that people will be worse off in 2015 than they were in 2010.They talk about the personal allowance but forget the 24 Tory tax rises introduced by George Osborne. Energy bills are up almost £300 since the election. George Osborne has overseen the slowest recovery for 100 years, and is forecast to borrow over £180 billion more than planned”.
Cllr Mick Lerry – Leader of the Labour Group on Sedgemoor District Council
Labour Candidate for the Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency