George Osborne’s budget will hit Medway’s environment hard, as well as the squeezed families who live within it, Medway Labour councillors said today.
Threatening Medway’s green spaces
Medway’s green spaces have been put under dual threat today by George Osborne’s budget announcements.
Today, George Osborne officially committed to the “need to address the lack of airport capacity in the South-East”, making the threat of an airport in the Thames Estuary loom even larger – though worried residents on the Peninsula will be blighted further by the delay to the consultation, which it is understood will now not be published until May.
Furthermore, the Chancellor also touted new “growth-friendly planning rules”, which will result in a complete overhaul of planning regulation, replacing 1,000 pages of careful guidance which help preserve our natural environments with just 50 pages. It seems likely our much-loved green spaces like Capstone Valley will no longer be safe.
Squeezing household budgets for Medway families
The government is making the wrong choices, with the wrong priorities and the wrong values, proving once again that they are the same old out of touch Tories.
With one million young people out of work, 50 businesses going bust every day, and a cost of living crisis for families – what does the Chancellor prioritise? Tax cuts for the rich.
Income tax has been cut for the richest 1%, whilst the squeezed middle are facing rising petrol prices, higher energy bills, and tax credits and child benefit being cut. Millions will be paying more so that millionaires can pay less.
There are just 14,000 people earning over a million pounds in Britain, but the Chancellor’s decision today means that each of them will get a tax cut, amounting to a pay rise of over £40,000. And a banker earning five million pounds will get an extra £240,000 a year – the Government’s very own bankers’ bonus.
But families on £20,000 a year are going to be worse off: from this April they will be losing a further £253 a year. Likewise, the decision to scrap income tax breaks for the over-65s could cost individuals up to £279 a year, leaving Britain’s pensioners worse off by more than £1bn a year by 2015.
Furthermore, the Chancellors’ cut of £10bn to the welfare budget equates to around £500 a year less for each of the 18 million people claiming support, roughly a £10-a-week drop in income for the poorest families.
Additionally, Medway motorists look set to see petrol prices rise yet again, as the Chancellor announced no change to existing fuel duty plans.
The cost of living is going up, the unemployment toll rises, and ordinary hard working families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, yet the Government offers a budget for millionaires.
We needed a workable plan for growth, a firm guarantee on jobs for young people, a British investment bank to help small businesses. But on growth, on jobs, on offering a fair deal for families, this Chancellor has failed.
Cllr Vince Maple, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group and Finance Spokesperson said; “The budget we have seen today from the Tory-led Coalition Government is a bad deal for Medway.
“Whether it is the threats to our much loved green spaces like Capstone Valley or the Hoo Peninsula, the continued cuts to hard working family incomes, the lack of action to tackle increasing fuel, petrol and transport costs, or the lack of growth in the economy – this budget is not in the best interests of the 250,000 residents of Medway.
“In fact, the only people who do benefit from Osborne, Clegg and Cameron’s budget are the highest 1% of who will receive a hefty tax cut.”Other news from Medway Labour