Budget Appraisal – Sir Roger Gale, MP 21st March 2012
This is a budget that really is designed to allow Great Britain to work and earn its way out of the debt that the Government inherited” says North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, speaking immediately after the Chancellor`s statement today (Wednesday 21st March).
It is, particularly, very fair. This budget clearly recognises the needs of those on middle and low incomes. It ensures that those with the ability to pay, and who have hitherto avoided tax, will pay while at the same time creating a financial climate that will remain attractive to worldwide business and to those who wish to invest in the United Kingdom.
Only by supporting small, medium sized and large businesses will we create the growth and generate the new jobs that people, and particularly young people, in areas of high unemployment like East Kent, need and want. And only in this way will we really reduce the amount paid in benefits to those out of work, turn claimants into taxpayers, increase the spending power that will regenerate our retail and leisure industries and maintain our course towards full economic recovery. In the context of Youth Employment the New Enterprise Allowance to help young people to set up in business, to be supported by enterprise loans, will help young entrepreneurs to kick-start new businesses of their own.
The Chancellor`s increase in the level before which income tax will be paid at all – something that I have personally sought for a long time – and the fine-tuning of the Child Tax Credit payments, will benefit very many low-income but hard-working families that Laura Sandys and I represent. And the introduction of a single-tier pension while at the same time paying the largest ever cash increase in the basic State Pension (£5.30 per week) will both immediately help our retired communities and make the whole pension system easier to understand.
On the downside, I personally cannot see that extending the hours that large stores are to be allowed to trade on Sundays during the Olympics will be of any real benefit – and might cause damage to small shops – outside London. And While I welcome the promised of £50 million of investment in homes in the South East that will be of small comfort to construction firms if the banks cannot be persuaded or compelled to lend to builders.
Overall, though, George Osborne has stuck to his policy, will maintain our financial credibility in the World Market and has once again shown that he has the courage to take on and tackle what is still the huge task of reducing our burden of debt”.