Today Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock asked the Prime Minister, in advance of the budget to comment on the dreadful state of the economy which we inherited from Labour.
The Prime Minister answered that “One way of putting that inheritance is that we had a Budget deficit that was bigger than Portugal’s, bigger than Spain’s and bigger than Greece’s. It is only because of the action we have taken in government to show how we will pay down our debts that we have interest rates in this country that are at a similar level to Germany’s. That is what we have been able to do, to the huge benefit of our economy and with absolutely no help from the party opposite.”
Stephen said afterward: “I was pleased that the Prime Minister was able to highlight the problems we inherited from the previous Government and that in advance of Budget the Prime Minister was able to point out that, in only 10 months, we have started to turn our economy around.”
Immediately after PMQs, George Osborne delivered an excellent Government Budget that will build on our success so far. The Budget contained plans to reform the economy, support for jobs and growth and a promise to take steps to help families with the cost of living – including an immediate cut in fuel duty.
Key measures in the Budget to boost growth include:
· Tax cuts for businesses and entrepreneurs
· Scrapping burdensome regulations
· Radical reform of the planning system
· New investment in science and innovation; and
· More support for young people with additional apprenticeships and work experience places.
To help families facing the rising cost of living, the Budget also will:
· Immediately cut fuel duty by 1 pence per litre and delay April’s inflation rise in duty to next January. This means fuel duty is 6 pence lower than it would be under Labour.
· Introduce a Fair Fuel Stabiliser to tax oil companies more to stop above inflation rises in fuel duty
· Increase the Personal Allowance by a further £630 from April 2012. That’s another real increase of £48 extra per year, or £126 in cash terms. Together with this year’s rise, that means a total of £326 extra each year for those working hard to support their families. And it means, just ten months into office, that this coalition Government has taken 1.1 million low paid people out of tax altogether.
Welcoming the Budget, Stephen said: “Last year’s Budget brought Britain back from the brink of bankruptcy. The Government is right to stick to the plan to get Britain living within her means and I am delighted that the Chancellor didn’t have to come back for more. Instead this year’s Budget sets out plans to back enterprise and get Britain making things again. By cutting fuel duty immediately and cutting income tax for millions the Chancellor has done what he can to help families now. This Budget has put fuel into the tank of our economy.”
“This Budget aims to make us the most competitive economy in the G20, as well as attracting multinational businesses to the UK it also aims to helping existing business prosper and new businesses start. There are many measures to achieve this; the cut in Corporation Tax, investment in science and innovation and new Enterprise Zones.”
“I also welcome the help the Chancellor has announced to ease the ever rising cost of living. Price hikes in everything from food to fuel have had a major effect on people’s everyday lives and the Chancellor has really done his best to help despite the fact that Labours legacy was to leave us with the largest peace time debt in memory. To help, the Chancellor has raised the tax threshold by another £630 in addition to the £1000 already announced, scrapped Labour’s inflation linked fuel price rise and pumped support in to our business sector.”
“This Budget sends the message that Britain is open for Business and ready for long term growth”