Local MPs react to Budget

Local MPs have given a mixed reaction to Chancellor’s George Osborne’s pre-election budget this week.

Unsurprisingly, the Conservative MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford Steve Brine said he was ‘pleased’ by the positive news on the economy in the Chancellor’s statement and he highlighted the raising of the income tax threshold as “it will make a huge difference to people in work”; the new ‘help to buy’ scheme “the government is standing behind young people to help get them on the housing ladder” and thirdly he was pleased by a reform to police widow pensions which allowed them to retain their entitlement after a remarriage – a cause Brine had championed.

It was equally predictable that opposition Labour MP John Denham was less than pleased.

Denham who is retiring from his Southampton Itchen seat said the government had failed to protect the NHS and tackle the government deficit as they had pledged.

He said that average living standards in the South East had fallen by more than the rest of England.

“He (George Osborne) has a run a government for the people at the very top of society in the interests of others at the very top of our society”

“It’s about time we had a government who put ordinary working families at the very centre of what it’s trying to do”.

Mike Thornton, the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh, said he was pleased more money had been found to invest in mental health services and by pension reforms but said he was worried by the effects of further spending cuts over the next five years arguing that we should rely more on tax rises.

Thornton said that running a deficit was a normal part of the economic cycle and trying to eliminate it simply by cutting benefits “Is just not right”.

The government should not be afraid to borrow money, he said, if it was going to be spent on infrastructure and “ended up making money for the country”.

In a statement local Southampton Green Party called the budget:

“a budget for the powerful – not the people”.

Ron Meldrum, The Green Party candidate for Eastleigh said:

“This is a last desperate gasp of those in power to try and flog a dead horse. This budget simply does not address the inequality that exists in what is supposed to be a democracy. It doesn’t work for us, it works for them, and that is not OK.”

Patricia Culligan the Ukip candidate for Eastleigh told Eastleigh News she was also worried about potential effects of future spending cuts:

“It’s worrying that he hasn’t outlined where the next raft of public spending cuts will come in the next parliament.

I know how badly the budgets of Social Services have been squeezed and that has a major impact on Child Protection.Given the extent of the Child Sex Abuse coverups, no area can afford to shrink their duty to
Guard our most vulnerable.”

But it wasn’t all bad news for Culligan who added she was pleased to see “Google tax dodging tackled” and a tax break for local newspapers.

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  5 comments for “Local MPs react to Budget

  1. March 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Lib Dems want to increase taxes. Glad we’ve got that clear…

  2. Rosie
    March 21, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    The only good news is the tax threshold increase for lowest earners.
    Living standards higher than 2010? Not in this household, nor many others, especially for the over 50s and the many thousands of people on zero hours contracts.
    The new tax-free savings allowance is a gimmick to get votes – what difference does it make when interest rates are a pitiful 1-2%!
    A promise of future increases in the “higher” rate tax threshold (which this Govt reduced during their term of office, instead of increasing!) and which hits many experienced nurses, teachers, policemen, middle managers etc. They are losing almost half their hard-worked overtime money, or bonus, in tax/NI. And a non-earning or low-earning partner can’t offset their unused income tax allowance against their partner’s higher rate tax, which hits hard and even more so if one partner loses their job and can’t find work, or only low paid work.
    But the real high earners are ok – none of them pays more than 45% tax (just 5% more than many middle earners on “higher” rate tax) – and the Govt even quickly did a back-track on the 50% rate within a few months of introducing it – funny how they listen to their wealthy friends but ignore the general population! 50% itself was too low for the highest earners!).
    The pension changes will probably destroy the pensions industry. The well-respected long-term companies will lose much of their annuity business almost overnight – and we’ll be the ones bearing the increased charges they’ll have to make (or lower annuity rates) to stay in business. Fly-by-night companies are likely to spring up on TV ads to tell us what to do with our pension money, as has happened with other sectors of financial services in the past 5-10 years – so more people will lose their pension money and there will be more mis-selling scandals.
    As for the new scheme for first time buyers – that’ll just inflate house prices even more (as happened with new house prices when the help to buy scheme came in) and buyers will over-commit or be left in negative equity situations in the future.

    • Sue
      March 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      I dont think I can disagree with any of that Rosie.

  3. Rosie
    March 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Just noticed that the tabs at the top of this page still show Chris Huhne as our MP – just shows what a non-impact Mike Thornton has made!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      March 21, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Yes, there is still interest in Chris Huhne and the site continues to pull visitors who fancy a chuckle.
      I’ve corrected his status though 😉

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