Barking and Dagenham MPs slam ‘typical Tory budget’

Barking MP Margaret Hodge

Barking MP Margaret Hodge - Credit: Vickie Flores

Margaret Hodge has slammed George Osborne for not understanding “the reality of people’s lives” in yesterday’s budget.

The Chancellor announced a whole host of measures including plans to force all English schools to become academies and the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks.

Last week the government announced cuts to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which could reduce benefits by £30 a week to £73 for some disabled people.

However Mr Osborne announced plans to increase the highest 40p tax band by £2,500 yesterday, offering savings to anyone earning more than £42,500 – a move which drew sharp criticism from the Barking Labour MP.

“This is a typical Tory budget,” said Mrs Hodge. “Tax breaks for the richest and more cuts for the vulnerable.

“The Chancellor needs to get his priorities right. The Tories are cutting £4.5billion in services for disabled people whilst announcing tax cuts for big businesses.

“By cutting disability benefits the government will raise £1.2bn – exactly the same as it costs to cut capital gains tax and income tax for the highest 15 per cent of earners.”

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“The Chancellor does not understand the reality of people’s lives. Week on week I get letters from disabled residents who have had their personal independent payments cut and are struggling to make ends meet.

“These people need our help more than big businesses and the wealthiest in society.”

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Redbridge, said the budget was not designed with working people in mind.

“The decrease in corporation tax is not in the interest of small business, more a helping hand for tax dodgers over tax payers, with Osborne offering mates’ rates to multinationals,” he said.

Mr Cruddas also criticised the announcement of a further £3.5bn in spending cuts.

“Over the period of the next year councils will have to implement 79 per cent cuts to spending, which will undoubtedly mean reductions in local services,” he said.

“It is hard working people already struggling that will feel the impact of this budget.”

A new £27billion rail upgrade was announced for the capital with Crossrail 2, a north to south link, getting the green light.

The Tory MP also announced that fuel duty will stay frozen for a sixth consecutive year, although duties on tobacco will rise by 2pc.

Duties on beer, cider and whisky also remain frozen but tax on all other alcohol types will rise in line with inflation.

What do you think of yesterday’s budget? How will it affect you? Email or call 020 8477 3824.