Another budget lacking growth will hit Wrexham families hard, warns local MP Ian Lucas (Labour). Whereas North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood (Conservative) welcomes the budget claiming it will have a positive impact for Wales.
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “Each year in this Parliament, the Chancellor has stood up and one of his first tasks has been to state that growth will be lower than previously forecast.”
“This lack of growth matters. This morning, figures were released which show that 1,934 people in Wrexham are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – that is five per cent of people of working age, or one person in every twenty.”
“Measures such as a penny of beer, or the decision not to continue with September’s fuel duty rise, may well be welcome. However, I think most of those 1,934 people would prefer to have a job than a few pennies off an evening in the pub on Sunday.”
Mr Lucas, who has put forward new ideas on regional banks and called for more to be done to help the construction sector, said he remained unconvinced by proposals unveiled to boost the housing market.
The Chancellor announced further help for shared equity schemes for purchasing new houses, and backing for mortgage deposits from next year for some other buyers. Mr Lucas said “I will look at the detail on these schemes more closely, but the housing market needs far greater re-evaluation than this Budget has given it.”
“I believe housing finance needs fresh ideas, not tinkering at the edges.”
North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has however welcomed today’s budget announcement and the positive impact it will have on Wales. The Welsh Government is to receive an additional £161m of capital spending power from the Chancellor’s Budget.
Mr Isherwood said “The Budget will support the people of Wales who aspire to work hard and get on, care for their families, buy a home, start or grow a business and save for retirement.”
“The cancellation of the fuel duty increase will benefit owners of the 1.8m motor vehicles in Wales, support for childcare will be available to 110,000 families in Wales with 170,000 children under 12, and a further increase in the personal allowance, bringing it to £10,000 in 2014-15, will benefit 1.1m people in Wales and lift 12,000 out of income tax altogether.”
“Businesses in Wales will also benefit, with a further 1% reduction in the main rate of corporation tax bringing it to 20% by 2015, a number of measures to improve access to finance for SMEs through the Business Bank and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and a new employment allowance of £2,000 per year for all businesses and charities to offset against their employer national insurance bill from April 2014. This will benefit 35,000 businesses in Wales by £50m in total, with 20,000 businesses taken out of employer NICs altogether.”
“And the aerospace sector in North Wales will benefit from access to the £2.1bn Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) which will support research and development in this key UK sector.”
Mr Isherwood, who is Shadow Housing Minister also welcomed the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, with £3.5bn of government money over the next three years committed to shared equity loans, which the Welsh Government would need to opt in to.
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