Budget hits 30,000 Brighton and Hove families, says Labour

Posted On 27 Mar 2011 at 1:57 pm

Thirty thousand families in Brighton and Hove will be worse off after the budget, according to local Labour leader Gill Mitchell.

At the same time Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, praised the Chancellor’s 1p cut in petrol duty when a 6p rise had been scheduled.

Mr Kirby said that the cut would give constituents some immediate relief while over the longer term it would help to create jobs.

Councillor Mitchell said: “In this budget the Tories have confirmed the banks will get a tax cut this year while just under 30,000 families in Brighton and Hove will see their child benefit frozen and will pay an average extra £450 in VAT.

“And families earning as little as £26,000 are set to lose their tax credits next year too.

“But while their plan is definitely hurting all the signs are that it’s not working.

“The VAT rise and cuts which go too deep and too fast are driving up unemployment again.

“And the independent budget watchdog says inflation will be higher and the economy will grow more slowly this year and next.”

Reckless

Councillor Mitchell, who leads the opposition Labour group on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “George Osborne’s reckless policies to cut too deep and too fast are hurting families here in Brighton and Hove.”

She said: “George Osborne should have listened to Labour and repeated the bank bonus tax this year, to help young people into work, build thousands of affordable homes and boost business investment.

“That’s the fair things to do and would help to get our economy moving again and get people into work to help get the deficit down.”

Mr Kirby said that he welcomed Mr Osborne’s help for hard-pressed constituents.

He pressed the Chancellor about petrol prices at a meeting recently and is pleased by the Chancellor’s budget day action.

Mr Kirby said: “Many of my hard-pressed constituents were asking for help on petrol prices in the budget.

“That’s why I tackled the Chancellor on the matter when I spoke to him recently.

Relief

“I am delighted with the policy he has brought forward to give constituents some relief.

“The government has the ability to make petrol prices fairer by altering the percentage of duty that is paid.

“Petrol and fuel costs in general affect all aspects of the economy.

“Confidence around petrol prices will boost confidence, give stability around investment and help job creation.”

He also said that the number of claimants had fallen in his constituency over the past year.

He said that figures from the House of Commons library showed that the number of unemployed claimants in his Brighton Kemptown constituency was 2,222 in February – 525 fewer than in February 2010.

The figure represents 5.3 per cent of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 261st highest of Britain’s 650 constituencies.

Mr Kirby said: ‘I am delighted with this year-on-year fall but there is still a long way to go – especially in relation to young people.”

He believes that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition budget will help economic and job growth.

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