Rugby’s reaction to Chancellor’s budget announcement

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How the budget will effect Rugby residents – different perspectives from MP Mark Pawsey and Rugby Trade Union and Socialist Coalition’s Pete McLaren.

Hours after hearing the Chancellor deliver his budget in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has welcomed the announcements included in the statement. According to Mr Pawsey, from the rise in the personal income tax allowance to £10,000 in April 2014, to the fuel duty freeze and the tax cut to support jobs in Rugby, the Chancellor’s budget has delivered for people in Rugby who want to get on in life. Not all are convinced however, with Rugby Trade Union and Socialist Coalition spokesman Pete MacLaren labelling it “divisive” and a further attempt to make the poor and vulnerable pay for the banking crisis.

Mr Pawsey said: “This budget has delivered real support for people who aspire to work hard and get on in the UK and here in Rugby. Around 34,000 people in Rugby will be over £700 better off every year as a result of the tax allowance announcement that the Chancellor made in this budget.

“And the positive news for Rugby residents did not stop there. The Chancellor’s announcement of another fuel duty freeze will save Rugby families £170 per year. Scrapping Labour’s planned fuel duty increase for September will save the average family £7 every time they fill up their car.

“The fuel duty freeze helps Rugby businesses too. We in Rugby enjoy a very enviable position at the crossroads of the UK which attracts businesses here. As a result of this fuel freeze the average haulier will save £5,200 per year and this is fantastic news for Rugby businesses. The new Employment Allowance the Chancellor announced will also help businesses. It will take £2,000 off the National Insurance bill of every business in the country. This is not only great news for businesses but also great news for people seeking jobs.”

He added: “For every 1 job lost in the public sector, 6 new jobs have been created by the private sector. This is great news for the businesses and employees of Rugby and the UK as a whole.”

However, Mr McLaren said the budget was further evidence of attempts to make poorer people pay for the financial crisis.

He said: “Today’s headlines may be the cut of one pence in the pound on a pint of beer, but the real politics behind this Budget are further attempts to make the poor and ordinary working people pay for the economic crisis causes by the bankers and governments internationally,”

He said: “This budget, announced on the day unemployment rose again, provides further evidence that we are not ‘all in it together’. Here is the evidence: A further one per cent cut in the budgets of government departments, a further £11.5 billion cuts earmarked in the 2015-6 Spending Review, public sector pay rises limited to one per cent for a further year – a pay cut with inflation running at nearly three per cent.”

Mr McLaren also criticised the Government’s decision to unveil plans to clam down on aggressive tax avoidance to recoup £3 billion, adding that the total amount of tax evaded or avoided was more like £120 billion.

He said: “The Tories are paying lip service to the problem of unpaid taxation by wealthy companies and individuals – many of which happen to be their friends and backers.

“Whilst ordinary people suffer, the rich get richer. The wealth the richest 1,000 people owned 2011-12 was up 4.7 per cent on the previous year at £414 billion, passing the level last seen in 2008, setting a new record, and we still have the top rate tax cut to come. Contrast that with the cuts to their incomes faced by those on benefits and low paid public sector workers. Today’s budget will simply exacerbate that divide.”