Budget 2013: Essex couple left ‘underwhelmed’ by Chancellor’s announcements

Ted and Jane Bentley of Sible Hedingham

Ted and Jane Bentley of Sible Hedingham - Credit: Archant

RETIRED primary school teacher Jane Bentley said she felt “underwhelmed” by yesterday’s Budget.

“It’s very difficult for the Government at the moment because they have so little room to manoeuvre but it does feel like they are just moving money around without doing anything decisive,” she said.

Mrs Bentley, 73, and her husband Ted, 76, a former builder, own a detached house in Sible Hedingham, near Halstead. The cap on social care costs into old age, so that savings above £72,000 are protected, was the announcement most relevant to their situation.

“We’ve known for some time that we will have to pay for our care when the time comes,” said Mrs Bentley.

“Putting a cap on this cost is a step in the right direction but it’s still a lot of money. Together we will have to find £144,000. As you get on you hope you can leave some money to your children but that is looking less and less likely in the current climate.

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“We know we are luckier than a lot of people but we’ve paid taxes all our lives and never drawn benefits – it does seem like we are being asked to pay twice.”

Help for young people looking to get on the property ladder was singled out as a positive step but there were doubts as to how far the banks are in a position to lend.

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Mrs Bentley added: “It’s really hard for the younger generation to get on the property ladder, so this looks like a good policy but if the banks don’t come on board, it’s a non-starter.

“Property makes the whole economy tick because we have lost most of our manufacturing over the years. Anything that can give the housing sector a lift should improve things across the board.”

The scrapping of fuel duty was also welcomed but there was less enthusiasm for the 1p off a pint of beer.

“The price of beer has gone up so much over the years that 1p off is meaningless,” she said.

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