THURROCK’S Labour MEP hit out at ‘dangerous and ideological’ budget gamble for Essex
The Chancellor has taken a dangerous and ideological gamble with Essex’s jobs, houses and services claimed the county’s Euro MP Richard Howitt today speaking out after the Budget.
With the country remaining in a deep slump, rising oil prices, workers fearing for their jobs and savage cuts to local services the Chancellor had an opportunity to announce pro-active measures to get Britain and Essex working again – but the Euro MP claims the Chancellor fluffed it.
Labour’s Richard Howitt MEP said:
“George Osborne had a choice today. A sensible Treasury minister would ease up on his plans to cut slash spending, put in place measures to get unemployment down, and address our crippling shortage of affordable homes. But sadly the Chancellor rejected the plans for growth that make economic sense and instead ploughed on with his ideologically driven attack on public services.
“The single most important result of Budget is even slower growth meaning businesses and people without jobs in Essex will suffer even more. I am particularly disappointed that there was no mention of Essex as a location for a new enterprise zone. Our region needs help for growth and jobs too.
“The sharpest spending cuts since 1945 begin next month and these cuts put the economic recovery in Essex at risk as well as being socially divisive.
“18,000 Essex street lights have been turned off, the youth service decimated and library opening hours are being cut. The end of the Educational Maintenance Allowance means students across Essex are struggling to continue their education. Essex Police are cutting back on officers. Rail fare rises are crippling commuters with a season ticket from Basildon to central London for the first time costing over £3000. Even the most vulnerable have not escaped the axe with children’s homes and old people’s homes sold off.
“The only glimmer of hope in this budget was the announcement on fuel – though Osborne is wrong to say the proposal to reverse fuel VAT rise is illegal. The UK can seek agreement at an EU level.
“When you cut jobs, stop house building and create a climate of fear, that risks yet more jobs losses and misery which will drive the country backwards not forwards.”