The Budget: Osborne writes for EADT
Shadow chancellor George Osborne writes for the East Anglian Daily Times his response to Chancellor Alistair Darling's Budget.THERE'S one thing a Budget in the middle of a recession needs to do - and that's to make you feel more confident.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne writes for the East Anglian Daily Times his response to Chancellor Alistair Darling's Budget.
THERE'S one thing a Budget in the middle of a recession needs to do - and that's to make you feel more confident. More confident about your future prospects, and more confident that our country can get through the huge problems we face.
With 15,000 people becoming unemployed in the East of England last month, this confidence boost was urgently needed.
Unfortunately, the Chancellor failed to deliver. Let me explain why, and set out what a Conservative government would have done differently.
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Alistair Darling failed to use the Budget to take action on Labour's debt crisis. The Chancellor was forced to announce the worst public finances ever recorded in the UK, and that Labour would soon be doubling the national debt. Perhaps the most shocking statistic of all is this: Labour will be racking up more borrowing in the next two years than all previous governments in British history combined. As a result, every child born in East Anglia will have �22,500 of government debt hanging over them. And, simply paying the interest on the unprecedented national debt will cost more than the entire schools budget.
This Budget clobbered hard working families in East Anglia and across Britain with new tax rises. Because Alistair Darling failed to restrain spending sufficiently, he was forced to announce �1,000 of new tax rises for every family, including tax hikes on responsible drinkers and motorists. Labour's tax rises on jobs and average earners are the wrong direction for East Anglia, and Britain as a whole.
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The Conservatives would have used the Budget to set out a different approach.
We believe that the Government should introduce spending restraint now, and start cutting government waste today. After all, if this can be done in 2011, why not right now?
By restraining public spending, we would have made it our priority to stop Labour's tax rises on the many, in particular the National Insurance increases on average earners and new jobs. By getting a grip on government spending, we would also have been able to help savers and families now.
We could freeze council tax, saving the average home in East Anglia �200, and we would have abolished tax on savings for millions of savers and increased the tax free allowance for pensioners. We would have introduced grants for 25,000 Master's students in science and engineering and created new training and apprenticeship opportunities across Britain.
And, we would have unleashed more than �30 billion of private sector investment in green technology companies to create jobs. A Conservative government would have used the Budget to put Britain back on the right track, so that we can be confident again about our future.
Sadly, like every Labour government in history, this one has run out of money. Only the Conservatives have the right plan to take action now, and deliver an economic recovery that is built to last.