Mixed reaction in Lincolnshire to “workers” Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement.  Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.
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The Budget has been backed as a means of “delivering security for working people”, according to the Government’s most senior minister based in Lincolnshire.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes praised measures, including a rise in the tax-free personal allowance - the amount people can earn before they start paying tax - to £11,000 from April 2016.

The Chancellor is trying to move us to a higher-wage, lower-tax and lower-welfare economy, boosting productivity and business growth.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes

Other measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne yesterday included a rise in higher tax rate threshold of 40 per cent from £42,385 to £43,000 and a new “national living wage” for over 25s of £7.20 an hour, both measures also coming into effect from April 2016.

Mr Hayes said: “It’s a Budget that aims to deliver security for working people, now that we’ve got our finances under control and have the strongest growing economy of any Western country in the world.

“The Chancellor is trying to move us to a higher-wage, lower-tax and lower-welfare economy, boosting productivity and business growth.

“We’ve come through a difficult period, but we have now lower inflation, faster growth, the budget deficit is coming down and we’re making the structural changes that will embed that progress as what the Budget is designed to do.

“This Budget is designed to boost the circumstances of working people, particular low wage earners.”

However, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Simon Beardsley claimed more needed to be done to make businesses in the county more competitive.

Mr Beardsley said: “George Osborne has delivered a good balance of politics and economics that provides stimulus for the economy, whilst continuing the tough task of eliminating the deficit.

“Companies will offer a cautious welcome to proposals on transport, training and local decision-making, but will want to see precisely how the Chancellor’s moves will make roads better, improve skills and allow them more power to determine what happens in their cities and counties.

“Several key themes for business such as export support, compensation for those affected by infrastructure schemes, planning reform, and transport - were conspicuous by their absence in the Budget.

“Companies will also want to see more detail on how the government’s productivity plans help to improve the business environment because any plan will only make a difference if it becomes easier to do business on the ground.”

Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne is making good on two of his general election commitments, according to personal finance expert Scott Woods.

A partner at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding, and Money Matters columnist for our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, Mr Woods said: “The Conservatives pledged to raise the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 so that no one working 30 hours a week, on the national minimum wage, pays tax.

“It also pledged to raise the 40p higher tax threshold to £50,000, with the higher rate moving from £42,385 to £43,000 from April 2016 - lifting 130,000 people out of the higher rate of income tax altogether and 29 million people paying less tax overall as a result of moves announced today.”