The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Budget statement to the House of Commons yesterday and it was regrettable that instead of helping working families he decided to cut taxes for people earning over £150,000.
When people on middle and low incomes are being squeezed by rising fuel prices, seeing their tax credits and child benefit cut, when one million young people are out of work and there is a big deficit to clear, it is completely the wrong priority.
Even on the Government’s bogus calculations the 50p top rate of tax has raised £1 billion in its first year. The Chancellor could have used the money to cut fuel duty, reverse cuts to tax credits, reduce cuts to police officers or help pay down the deficit, but instead he chose to cut taxes for the richest 1% of earners.
A year ago the Chancellor said his Budget would ‘put fuel into the tank of the British economy’. Since then though our economy has stalled, unemployment has risen month by month and he is borrowing £150 billion more than he planned.
This Budget should have put jobs and growth first, but it will do nothing to get our economy moving or get people back to work. What we needed was real help for families on middle and low incomes and a real plan for jobs. A plan which should have included a tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people and a tax break for small firms taking on extra workers.