Budget 2015 ‘irrelevant for Barking and Dagenham’ says Margaret Hodge MP

Barking MP Margaret Hodge

Barking MP Margaret Hodge - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

This morning’s Budget was “totally irrelevant for the people of Barking and Dagenham” according to Barking MP Margaret Hodge.

Speaking just 50 days before the General Election, George Osborne urged voters to reject the “chaos” Labour’s spending would bring and stick with a party delivering economic security.

The chancellor outlined a range of measures including a new help-to-buy ISA for first-time home-buyers, a penny off a pint of beer in duty and the introduction of a personal saving allowance.

But Mrs Hodge, chair of the public accounts committee and Labour MP, blasted the coalition’s spending plans.

“Today’s Budget was completely and totally irrelevant for the people of Barking and Dagenham,” she told the Post.

“I think in the Westminster bubble people don’t realise how tough it’s been for the families on the ground in this borough.

“People play around with figures but energy prices have gone up while more and more people are on zero-hour contracts which can make it really tough.

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“I don’t think the chancellor got it at all, it was really disappointing.”

A planned fuel duty increase for September was scrapped while annual paper tax return was fully abolished, in favour of digital alternatives.

But Mrs Hodge insists the measures have done nothing to benefit the borough.

“It’s a set of policies that only help the privileged few,” she added.

“I can’t think of anything that was relevant. There was nothing about the NHS or education – both hugely important issues in our borough.

“I don’t think there was anything to help families that have been struggling for the past five years.”