George Osborne and David Cameron are ‘completely out of touch’ following yesterday’s budget announcement, says Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams.
Abrahams said Chancellor of the Exchequer’s latest budget does nothing to tackle the cost of living crisis.
This is in light of rising unemployement figures and living costs in the North West.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have also revealed unemployment has risen by 22,000 in the North West, despite a national fall in unemployment.
Unemployment figures in the North West have now hit 8.1%, higher than the national average of 7.1%, and significantly larger than the 5.8% of the South East.
Discussing the shortcomings of the budget, Abrahams said: “George Osborne and David Cameron seem to be trying to claim everything is going well.
“It just shows how completely out of touch they are when millions of working people on middle and lower incomes are not feeling any recovery at all.
“They’re very happy to stand up only for a privileged few and give tax breaks to millionaires but not to hardworking families who have seen their total taxes go up.”
The Oldham East and Saddleworth MP continued: “We needed a Budget that tackles the cost-of-living crisis which has left working people £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories.
“It’s the same old Tory con again, giving with one hand while taking away much more with the other.”
In a time when the North/South divide seems clearer than ever, Lynn Collins, the North West Trades Union Congress (TCU) Regional Secretary, argues that Osborne’s measures to tackle the unemployment figures fall short.
She said: “Today’s figures tell us that more action is needed to tackle unemployment. There is a stubborn gap between ourselves and other parts of the country that needs bridging with investment in jobs, skills and wages.
“Today was an opportunity for the government to tell us how they intend to do that and instead we are left disappointed.
“People out of work across our region, often through no fault of their own, are not offered much by the Chancellor today.”
Chancellor’s Osborne’s latest ‘red box’ announcements also revealed change to pensions and assistance for ‘the makers, doers, and savers’.
His changes were welcomed by North West legal firm Brabners.
William Ngan, Chartered Tax Adviser and Corporate Associate at the law firm, said: “We are very happy to see the majority of pensions changes proposed, which in our view offer greater flexibility around taking smaller pension pots on retirement and reduce the need to secure benefits through the purchase of an annuity.”`
Image courtesy, of HM Treasury, via Flickr, with thanks.