Thursday, 22 March 2012

Coalition budget is bad news for Cornwall and its people

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has condemned the Coalition budget as “bad news for Cornwall and its people.” We are angry at their tax breaks for the rich and plans for regional pay, not to mention the “pasty tax.”

Speaking on behalf of MK, Deputy Leader and Economy spokesman Cllr Andrew Long said:

“All budgets inevitably contain measures that are worthy of support as well as others that need to be opposed. It would be churlish not to welcome, for example, the increase in personal tax allowance from April 2013.

“But George Osborne’s budget is unbalanced and will adversely affect local workers, pensioners and businesses.”

Actions and proposals condemned by MK include:

The cut in the top 50p tax rate, which will benefit the super-rich earning over £150,000.
The changes to state pensions which will take money from the over-65s.
The refusal of the Chancellor to cancel the planned 3p a litre increase in fuel duty planned for later this year.
The introduction of a pasty tax, with 20% VAT added to the costs of hot takeaway food.
The statement that the Coalition Government is planning to bring forward plans for regional pay.

Commenting on the future introduction of a pasty tax, Cllr Long added:

“The introduction of VAT onto hot food such as pasties, shows how the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition simply do not understand the needs of Cornwall.

“This tax could have a devastating impact on the pasty producers and retailers in Cornwall, and it would also hit the wallets of ordinary people throughout the Duchy.”

I have meanwhile condemned the moves towards regional pay, which I have described as a “total disaster which would entrench low wages in areas such as Cornwall.”

“The reality is that there is already great inequality between the nations and regions of the United Kingdom. Central government should be working to reduce this inequality but if Mr Osborne gets his way it will get even worse.

“Cornwall suffers from the lowest average wages in the UK. And yet the cost of living is especially high, thousands are struggling to access housing at a price they can afford, while government cuts are having a devastating impact on public services and the local economy.

“Osborne’s plan to reduce public sector pay will damage families and further undermine local economies like ours that are in need of investment, while yet more money is siphoned off to be spent in London and the South East.”

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