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Budget 2014: Reaction in Gloucestershire

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

Mike Huysinga at The Exmouth Arms

Comments (11)

The Chancellor sparked wildly different reactions from industry and unions, drawing praise and criticism.

Business groups welcomed measures to cut energy costs and promote manufacturing, but unions attacked the "obsession" with austerity.

The single mother

Mother Lisa Allen, 22, receives child tax credit but, despite recently introduced tax breaks for working parents, she believes she is better off staying at home with her son.

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Living in Gloucester, she looks after her son Alfie, who is amost two.

The Government is trying to give incentives to get parents back into work but Lisa, a former chef in Longlevens, says the budget hasn’t had a real influence on her decision.

She said: “Money isn’t a cure – it’s can’t bring you happiness. It’s obviously helpful but it is money at the end of the day. As long as I can put food on the table.

“I recently left my job to watch my boy grow. Out of work, you have to make sure you put your savings away instead of paying stuff you don’t need.

“My decision to leave work was a toss-up as to whether I should to pay for childcare or not.”

The Family Man

John Gough, from Abbeydale, said: “It is great to hear that the Government will be spending money on potholes. It is about time. That is what money should be spend one. One driver who recently passed her test swerved so she didn’t go into a pothole, because it could have damaged her car. It can costs some drivers up to £400 to replace their wheel and suspension.

“I think my son, who is 28, will be pleased to hear that the Help to Buy Scheme is being extended, because he is looking to get on the property market. It is just a matter of what he can afford.

“It seems the Government’s plan to pensioners may not be so good for the young people because they are having to work until an older age. My wife who recently turned 62 just got her pension, she would have preferred it at 60 though.

“I have only come across one petrol garage in Bristol Road that does cheap disease prices, so the fact that fuel duty rise due in September has been scrapped, will be welcome by a lot of people but I am all for more money to be spent on potholes.”

The pub landlord

Pub landlord Mike Huysinga reckons a cut in tax duty for a pint of beer will not stop drink prices going up.

But he is pleased to see personal tax allowances to be raised to £10,500 next year as it will hopefully allow people to spend their savings on the High Street.

“Duty has gone down by a penny but that doesn’t mean that prices won’t go up,” said Mike, who is the landlord at the Exemouth Arms, The Royal and the Strand in Cheltenham.

“Some of the wholesale prices have gone up by 10 pence and, although tax duty has been cut, that doesn’t quite cover inflation.

“It is obviously good news that the budget is concentrated on helping pensioners and, because a lot of our customers are pensioner age, that will hopefully free up some more income.

“Tax duty and the wealth of our customers go hand in hand and, if our people feel wealthier, the more they will hopefully spend.

“I am no rabid Tory or Labour supporter but the more the Government can do to put money in people’s pockets, the better.”

The pensioner

Pensioner Murray Watson from Chalford, near Stroud, said the budget could have gone further for older people.

“I don’t play bingo so it doesn’t affect me but for those who do, it will be a boon,” he said. “I was disappointed nothing was done about stamp duty because raising the level at which it is paid would have really helped house buyers – younger people moving up and older people downsizing.

“If you look at areas around Stroud, there are not that many houses under £250,000 and changing stamp duty could help the housing market get moving.

“It’s obviously an electioneering budget – Mr Osborne is trying to help some pensioners but not all.”

Christina Snell of Age UK Gloucestershire agreed.

“We would have liked to have seen more done for the poorest pensioners,” she said.

The haulier

Gary Ball from GBS Light Haulage, Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury, said fuel duty needs to come down.

“Freezing fuel duty isn’t enough,” he said.

“The cost of fuel has risen and risen and I cannot put up costs at the same rate.

“It really eats in to my profit margin – like anyone, I have to make a profit to make a living and keep the business running.

“I’m not jumping up and down with joy at the fuel freeze.

“I would like to have seen more help for married couples and on the business side, there is more that can be done to make it easier to employ people.

“I would like to take on trainees but I need experienced staff. I can’t afford to take on a trainee but if there was more help in that area, I could do that.”

In reaction to Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget today, Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West said:

“We welcome the rise above inflation in tobacco prices announced today. However, given real concerns over hand rolled tobacco use in the South West, it is disappointing this Budget has not narrowed the gap between manufactured and hand rolled brands.

“Seven out of ten smokers want to quit. Saving hundreds or even thousands of pounds each year can be hugely motivating in today’s climate when household budgets are over-stretched.

“Smokers are five times more likely to quit successfully using our free and effective local Stop Smoking Services than by going cold turkey.”

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  • socialista  |  March 22 2014, 9:52PM

    raidermanuk: That`s nonsense, the government doesn`t need to borrow any money let alone "£95 billion to balance the books"! - where do you think the huge sums for quantitative easing (QE) came from? They weren`t borrowed, they were created by the Bank of England under QE. Under QE, £375bn of the national debt (in the form of gilts) has been bought by the Bank of England (BoE) from private holders of UK debt. But instead of cancelling it the Treasury pays interest on that debt to the BoE. In Autumn 2012 George Osborne, in a desperate attempt to make it look like the deficit was going down asked the then governor of the BoE, Mervyn King, to pay the QE interest back to the Treasury. King promptly agreed. This £375bn of national debt should be cancelled, rather than having one branch of government (the Treasury) pay interest on this debt to another branch of government (the Bank of England) which then pays it back to the Treasury. This is an accounting trick that the UK`s leading tax accountant & economist Richard Murphy has repeatedly pointed out on his website - the motive is purely political - i.e. to hide the ease with which national debt can be repurchased & cancelled. See for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/kqgssqo

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  • uk_socrates  |  March 21 2014, 11:01AM

    I think people forget budgets usually only tinker with a few hundred pounds here and there for the average person. The money to pay for x has to taken from y, and on top of this we now live in a globalized world, where countries are essentially competing for big business.

  • madtazz  |  March 20 2014, 1:03PM

    Once again just like the national media the disabled and there unpaid carers are TOTALLY LEFT OUT Maybe the "citizen" like the rest of the country see the disabled and there unpaid as A BURDEN ON THE TAX PAYER And BEST LEFT IN SOME QUIET CORNER WHERE THEY ARE OUT OF SIGHT AND OUT OF MIND. This is to let you and your readers that I am one of 6 MILLION CARERS IN THIS COUNTRY AND OVER 500,000 IN THE COUNTY OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE .

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  March 20 2014, 11:41AM

    Looks like a drink driver had a meeting with the bus shelter outside the pub how apt!

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  • supernova1  |  March 20 2014, 10:38AM

    Lecorche....let's see in a year's time. If you look at the whole budget, it's got to be good news. I was asked by my wife this morning what her pensioner mother will get out of it. I said possibly nothing, except the fact that this country could be on the brink of a gold mine. If Hitachi are relocating all of their train building to the UK, they are obviously getting good vibes, and since the announcement was today, they must have been thinking about it for months. As opposed to the idiots in the Liebour party, who STILL cannot admit to their **** up of the economy, foreign investors are sitting on their hands, biding their time, and when they do invest, hopefully in the UK as we are the fastest growing out of the 'crash' economies, it will actually help my dear mother-in-law. As for annuities, if you bought one yesterday, tough. We can't keep going back. If you are annoyed, then it's because you think it's a good idea to control your own financial future, therefore should be applauding a progressive Conservative party, and vote for them next year. Unfortunately, the voters in this country have the memory span of a fish, and will believe the balls of Balls and Millibland.

  • TIMONLINE2010  |  March 20 2014, 10:23AM

    But the government could actually be honest and say that these are tax shifts rather than tax reductions.

  • raidermanuk  |  March 20 2014, 10:05AM

    No Government can possibly please everyone including fans of their own party. Despite all the good news from the Chancellor the reality is than in 2014/15 the Government will need to borrow £95 billion to balance the books which represents 14.66% of total tax take. Historic weak governance sees us saddled with an annual interest bill of £53 billion so clearly we are not "earning" enough to pay this without borrowing. Bit like at home when your wages aren't enough to live on and you can't even keep up with the interest payments on your loans let alone repaying any of the capital - and you keep borrowing to cover. Hopefully the economy will continue to grow which, combined with future cuts, will bring it back into balance. Hard times ahead for all of us (apart from the top 5%!)

  • Lecorche  |  March 20 2014, 9:39AM

    The budget was a total disaster.....for the Tories. Their own party chairman saw to that. http://tinyurl.com/ps43bj2

  • TIMONLINE2010  |  March 20 2014, 8:43AM

    What the government fail to hightlight however is how thet are continueing to squeeze the 20% band, pushing more and more people into the 40% band.

  • SandraPee  |  March 20 2014, 7:36AM

    Very unfair on those who had already bought an annuity and didn't get the option of access to their whole pension pot .

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