Don Foster MP*
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Brown’s Buck-Passing Budget
Bath’s MP Don Foster has criticised Gordon Brown’s “Buck Passing” budget.

Main Image“Overall this was a disappointing and unimaginative Budget. Measures to help small and start-up businesses are welcome but much of the rest was a poor attempt to cover up growing economic problems.

“The Chancellor should stop blaming the world and face up to his own failings,” said Don,

“He has offered no excuse for his failure to deliver productivity to match our competitors, or for investment falling faster than every other major economy.

"Britain's economic growth is being borrowed - by both consumers, and the Government. That can't go on forever.

On Tax

"This Budget over-taxes working families and pensioners while protecting the super-rich. It continues to smother business in red tape and tax complications,” said Don.

“Instead he should have simplified the tax system and increased the tax rate for those earning over £100,000 to 50% using the money to end tuition fees and provide a £100 per person Council Tax rebate.


On the Environment

“The Chancellor's Budget is not 'green' enough. He has avoided the necessary decisions, such as making aviation reflect its environmental costs.

"The Chancellor has also missed a key opportunity to introduce joined-up thinking on green issues across Government.

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"The Government must realise that ignoring the environment is not a tax-neutral option. Saving the environment will save billions of pounds each year, but greener taxation should involve taxing differently, not taxing more.”

On Pensions

Commenting on the £100 increase in the winter fuel payment for the over 80s, Don said,

“This is one thing I do welcome, but when pensioners do the sums, they will see that all the Chancellor is offering is an extra £2.17 a week. That falls a long way short of the £15 extra that Liberal Democrats believe the oldest pensioners deserve.”

On Transport

Don also criticised the absence of any mention of, or additional support for, public transport in today’s Budget.

He said:

“Since Labour came to power delays on our railways have doubled and cancellations are up by half. Outside London our bus services are declining, with the number of journeys continuing to fall.

“The Chancellor has missed the opportunity to give public transport the boost it needs by redirecting his unspent ‘Capital Modernisation Fund’. This could have provided our railways and local transport with an extra £2.3bn over the next three years.

“Rail users are fed up with an inadequate, unreliable service. Businesses are fed up with undependable freight delivery. Extra investment, targeted where it is needed, and tightly controlled to ensure better value for money, would bring our railways into the 21st century.

“Local communities have seen themselves left behind as high profile transport schemes have used up available resources. Small-scale projects, providing rapid delivery of services would get our communities moving again.

“Britain’s public transport system needs serious and considered investment if the public are going to receive serious benefits.”


ENDS




Printed (hosted) by David Bellotti on behalf of Don Foster (Liberal Democrat) both at 31 James Street West, Bath BA1 2BT. _blank

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