West Ham Labour MP Lyn Brown on a residents’ budget plan

PUBLISHED: 14:07 13 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:07 13 March 2013


Next week is the Budget, George Osborne’s showcase opportunity to help the economy and the living standards of hard working families. I won’t hold my breath.

He’s the man who created a U-turn budget debacle last year. He stagnated growth, spawned a double-dip recession, cut taxes for the rich and paid for it with a ‘granny’ tax.

No doubt Osborne will stand at the despatch box and demonstrate, yet again, how out of touch he really is. After his embarrassing failure to hang on to Britain’s AAA credit rating, the “downgraded chancellor” fails all economic tests.

Truth is, we don’t need a credit agency to tell us what we already know. Cameron’s and Osborne’s plans simply don’t work.

The Coalition borrowed £212bn more than they planned, because the economy isn’t growing. Yet Osborne insists he will not change course. His arrogant and obtuse refusal to acknowledge his own failures is causing even more long-term harm.

Hard-working people write to me every day about their struggles to avoid eviction, pay mounting bills or afford rising rents on minimum wage.

As the Chancellor clearly needs advice, I asked residents to contribute to a Budget Plan I could send to George Osborne. Lots of people responded.

A large majority said Government should close tax loopholes, so businesses that profited here, paid tax here.

Nearly a third of you thought the budget should create jobs for young people. Twice as many supported a one-off tax on bankers’ bonuses to create those jobs through local apprenticeship schemes.

Many asked the Chancellor to relieve pressure on families and encourage business start-ups with first-year tax breaks linked to new jobs created; 83% wanted no increase in Income Tax.

We want apprenticeship schemes, tax breaks for new businesses and jobs for young people, not increases in ISA allowances and income tax.

Nobody thought increasing the ISA allowance would help.

I’m sending the results to George Osborne, to help him formulate his Plan B for the economy.

To achieve growth and a prosperous economy, we need a full-time, competent, listening Chancellor. Don’t hold your breath.

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