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Lib Dem Southend West PPC in 2010 reacts to the Budget

Peter Welch who stood as the Lib Dem Candidate for Southend West in 2010 has reacted to this afternoons budget. I’ll be putting my thoughts together later on or tomorrow but this is what Peter thinks…

“As the Prime Minister said at Prime Minister’s Questions today this is a Kaleidoscope budget. Parts of it were in Lib Dem gold and I particularly welcome those parts of the Budget.

“The most significant of these is the increase in tax threshold. It was a front-page commitment on the Liberal Democrat manifesto to raise the level at which people start paying tax to £10,000 a year. This budget moves the level at which people start paying tax to £9205 per annum. That is a massive step towards a Liberal Democrat priority – and means that thousands of people in Southend and South East Essex will be taken out income tax altogether. I’m delighted with this news – it will put money into the pockets of people who need, and will spend it in local businesses.

“Liberal Democrats also fought the election on a policy of moving to a simplified, single-tier, citizens’ pension, paying every pensioner at least £140 week by the end of this parliament (ie by 2015).The Budget opens the door for Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister to go ahead and do this. This will particularly benefit women older, and it is great news.

“But not everything in today’s announcements brings pleasure. The Government will still need to borrow £500 billion over the next five years. That is a figure that few of us can imagine – it is a simply collosal amount of borrowing.

But I am most concerned to hear that the Chancellor wants to increase airport capacity. If this is code for moving ahead with plans for a airport in the Estuary, then I will oppose it every step of the way.”

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