‘Same mistake repeated over and over again:’ Rochdale MPs slam George Osborne’s budget

By Mark Shales

The same mistakes are being repeated time and time again by Chancellor George Osborne, claim angry Rochdale MPs following this week’s budget.

Labour’s Simon Danzcuk, MP for Rochdale, and Jim Dobbin, MP for Heywood and Middleton, slammed Mr Osborne’s plans after his own growth forecasts were slashed in half to 0.6%.

Despite announcing a reduction in beer duty, Mr Dobbin argued the budget failed to make up for previous wrongs.

“This budget is just the same mistake repeated over and over again,” he said.

“George Osborne gives with one hand while taking with the other.

“His change in alcohol taxation means he’s cutting 1p off the price of a pint of beer in Middleton, but his previous increase in VAT means he’s already added 5p to it first.

Personal tax-free allowance will be raised to £10,000 in 2014 – a year earlier than planned – but Mr Dobbin remained less than impressed.

“It won’t make up for what hard-working families all over Greater Manchester have already lost through tax and benefit changes,” he added.

“The Chancellor has done nothing to grow the economy with borrowing set to be £245 billion higher than planned.

“We needed change and got more of the same from Osborne.”

Mr Danzcuk, the MP who triggered a criminal investigation into shamed ex-minister Chris Huhne , believes the Chancellor is attempting to dupe the British public.

“There was a depressing sense of déjà vu in that once again George Osborne had to downgrade growth forecasts,” he said.

“Hearing the Chancellor admit that growth will be down next year was a painful reminder that this government is completely failing to get Britain’s economy growing.

“This is not a budget to help the biggest private sector employer in this country. It’s one that makes their existence even harder and puts thousands of jobs at risk.”

With shops such as Woolworths, HMV and TJ Hughes going into administration in recent years Rochdale’s retail industry has suffered greatly as a result of the global economic downturn.

And Mr Danzcuk was especially concerned about the impact of yesterday’s budget being felt on Britain’s high streets.

“How the Chancellor can have the nerve to claim he is making our tax system more competitive when he continues to clobber small businesses with unfair business rates is beyond me,” he added.

“In Rochdale traders on the high street are being hit by nearly £2million in business rates increases this year and it’s causing enormous damage.”

Image courtesy of M.Holland, via Wiki Commons, with thanks

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