We are worried that the acceleration of deep spending cuts by the Government could damage the fragile economic recovery, making the situation much, much worse.
We have also rubbished claims from the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat allies that the budget was in some way “progressive” and “fair,” which is borne out by a study from The Institute for Fiscal Studies. This shows the cuts “will hit Britain’s poorest families six times harder than the richest.”
The cuts will fall hardest on poorer households who are more likely to be dependent on public services and benefits, which we consider unacceptable. They could also be among the thousands of people who will lose their jobs.
We believe it is simply not right for people on lower incomes to pay the price for the economic problems, much of which was caused by the recent excesses of the bankers.
We have condemned the planned VAT rise. This is an unfair and regressive tax, which is also likely to disproportionately punish the less-well-off.
MK is especially appalled at the Liberal Democrats for going along with the VAT rise. Not so long ago, they were out on the campaign trail telling one and all in Cornwall that only they could stop the Conservatives, even campaigning against the ‘Tory VAT bombshell …’ (see above).
And yet here they are, only weeks later, lining up with the Conservatives to help impose their VAT bombshell.
MK has also repeated its calls for a radical overhaul of the taxation system.
It is our belief that fair taxes should play a greater part in reducing the deficit and paying for public services. Poorer families should pay less tax. Direct taxes such as VAT and council tax, which fall hardest on the less-well-off, should be reduced, while high earners should pay their fair share.
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat budget fails to address the inequality of taxation, even choosing to increase VAT. It also fails to address the scandal of tax avoidance and tax evasion, which is costing the Treasury many billions each year.
Mebyon Kernow considers it is unacceptable that the Government seeks to punish ordinary families and the less-well-off, while allowing wealthy people and their tax accountants to cheat the system.
We are also angry that the Government is not addressing the historic underfunding of Cornwall.
I understand that the three Lib Dem MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion which “calls on the Government to set up an independent funding commission similar to the Holtham Commission in Wales to examine the level of under-funding of Cornish services.”
It is nice to see them following up on an MK policy but this inadequate. With three Conservative and three Liberal Democrat MPs in the administration, it is shocking that we have heard nothing from Cameron or Clegg, Osborne or Cable on this matter.
We must question the commitment of these Government ministers to fair funding for Cornwall and I challenge all Cornish MPs to make the Commission a reality.