Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell described today’s Budget as testimony to the pivotal role the Liberal Democrats have played in Government over the past five years in transforming the British economy from “the financial shambles left by the last Labour Government to where today we are well on the mend and where we are the fastest growing economy amongst the world’s leading economies.”
Sir Bob said it was important that people were reminded that in 2010 Britain was on the edge of financial meltdown, and that it was in the national interest that the Liberal Democrats agreed to form a Coalition Government with the Conservatives.
He added: “This Budget shows that the Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society to create opportunity for everyone.
“In Colchester, unemployment is down 54 per cent since the last General Election – and the number of people with jobs is the highest in the town’s history. Alongside this, we have seen a huge increase in the number of young people getting apprenticeships.”
Sir Bob pointed out that the Budget was packed with policies which came from the Liberal Democrats, including raising the point where people pay Income Tax so that from April 2016 it will be £10,800 before a penny is paid in tax. Raising the level will help more than 27 million working people, lifting 3.7 million out of paying any tax.
“This would not be happening without the Liberal Democrats”.
Sir Bob said he was disappointed, however, that the Chancellor had not reduced Value Added Tax on Tourism from 20 per cent to five per cent which he said would have been of great benefit to the economy of Colchester and North Essex with more jobs created.
He would also have preferred the cut in beer duty to have been doubled but only applied to traditional neighbourhood, village and community pubs.