Tagged: budget

George Osborne’s Budget Was Class War, Let’s Give The Bastard What He Wants

the void

class-war-stencil.gif Who the fuck has got fifteen grand a year to spare that they can stash in an ISA to take advantage of George Osborne’s so-called saver’s revolution?

The answer is George Osborne, his parents, and everyone he knows.  The same could be said about David Cameron, Nick Clegg, David Miliband and even Nigel Farage.  And that is the reason why high earners with whopping savings are now presented as the norm in the UK – and the only people that matter to all of the main political parties.

The reality is that the average weekly wage is just over £500 a week, which doesn’t leave much room for an ISA if that’s all a family has to live on.  Around 5 million people are paid below the living wage, and another five million or so live from hand to mouth on meagre benefits.  Nearly six and a half million households…

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The Budget: George Osborne told to focus on North East

he Chancellor has been told his Budget today must address the North East’s unemployment record.

Businesses, house builders and unions have said the Government needs to start growing all parts of the UK economy, not just the South, and urged George Osborne to use his Budget to tackle the number of people out of work in the region.

At 10%, the region’s unemployment rate stands as the highest in the UK, remaining around that level even as unemployment falls in large parts of the rest of the country.

The North East Chamber of Commerce has already written to the Treasury calling for a renewed focus on tackling job creation in all parts of the UK.

Policy director Ross Smith said: “We have seen the recovery really accelerate over the past year. We now need to see measures that will sustain this for the longer term and make it better balanced – not a series of pre-election gimmicks.

“North East businesses are making a huge contribution to that recovery, but doing so within an economic system that is still skewed towards the South East. We need to see measures that will capitalise on the region’s export success, energy expertise and capacity for growth.

“That includes taking better account of the regional implications of taxes such as fuel duty and air passenger duty, better balanced delivery of infrastructure, and greater scope to ensure skills training matches the labour market needs in this region.”

The need for a regional focus was repeated by Beth Farhat, regional secretary of the Northern TUC.

She said: “Most people in the North East aren’t experiencing a real recovery and in fact for many here it’s getting worse, with unemployment for women rising 20% in the last year alone.

“We need a Budget focused on creating more North East jobs, with better quality work alongside with fairer pay. Ministers should end their ideologically obsession with cuts and privatisations to public services and focus much more on a thought-out approach to developing the economy, particularly in regions like ours.

“When eight out of 10 private sector jobs are being created in London it’s clear the current plan isn’t working and the economy is still geared towards London and the South East at the expense of everywhere else.

“There is a consensus across the region about what we need to do, so I’d urge the Chancellor to hand us the economic tools, powers and investment needed to enable us to contribute to regional success and balanced national growth.”

Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes said house building was a key way of kickstarting the North East. He said: “What we need is a tax break to incentivise house building on brownfield development sites – this would help deal with the chronic shortage of housing and make it financially viable for construction companies to take on more apprenticeships.

> Would it ?  Or are we just talking about more housing that the majority of us couldn’t afford even if we are working ?

“The Government has announced their intention on building a New Town at Ebbsfleet, but a tax break like this would help us rebuild areas like Scotswood and Walker Old Towns.”

And the North East-based Home Group has also had its say, calling on the Government to force through better use of public land, making it easier for firms to build.

The affordable housing group called for the creation of special Housing Zones in which, like the business-led enterprise zones, incentives would be offered to kick start the building process.

Source – Newcastle Journal,  19 March 2014

Coalition drags out the pain with promise of many more cuts

Vox Political

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The BBC has reported findings by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, showing that the Coalition government will be less than halfway through its planned spending cuts by the end of the current financial year (March 31).

The organisation said 60 per cent of the cuts were still to come.

This raises a few urgent questions. Firstly: This government was formed on the promise that it would balance the books by 2015, which presupposes that its entire plan for doing so would be in place long before then. We know that this ambitious claim was dismissed after years of failure, but part of the reason for this failure was that George Osborne stopped a recovery that was already taking place, and which would have led to economic growth of 20 per cent by now, if it had been allowed to continue (according to Michael Meacher MP). My question, therefore…

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Tyne & Wear Firefighters Face Cuts

One in every five firefighters in Tyne and Wear could be made redundant after the region’s fire service announced proposals to cut over £5 million from its budget.

The authority is consult on three options, including using smaller response vehicles or axing up to six engines.

Option one includes “standing down” engines on quieter nights and reducing fire fighter cover at some stations.

Option 2 would see the same cuts plus the closure of community fire stations in Wallsend and Gosforth with services moving to a new facility at Benton.

A third option sees closures in Sunderland.

If all options are backed then 131 firefighting jobs – 20% of the workforce – would go. An aerial ladder platform would also be lost.

Brigade Secretary Dave Turner said “We have made it clear in all recent discussions with senior managers that we will oppose any further cuts to frontline services.

“These are the most devastating cuts in the service’s history and will mean firefighters and the public will be at far greater risk if these cuts go ahead.

“It also means that areas of Tyne and Wear will be left without cover for extended periods – again increasing the risk to both the public and firefighters alike.”

Fire service bosses will decide on the cuts in January.

Source – Newcastle Journal 23 Oct 2013