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Sunderland responds to the Budget

Danielle Newton, of Rushyrig, Blackfell, Washington, and her children l-r Owen. eight, Selina, six, and Connor, eight, pupils at Oxclose Village Primary School, where parents are angry at the latest Ofsted report described the school as 'inadequate and require special measures.'

Danielle Newton, of Rushyrig, Blackfell, Washington, and her children l-r Owen. eight, Selina, six, and Connor, eight, pupils at Oxclose Village Primary School, where parents are angry at the latest Ofsted report described the school as 'inadequate and require special measures.'

GEORGE Osborne’s Budget for an “aspiration nation” got a lukewarm response from the region’s biggest business organisation.

North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham accused the Chancellor of not going far enough in his efforts to kickstart economic growth.

“Compared to the Autumn Statement, the Budget is uncompelling with very little on skills, inward investment or support for exporters, which is surprising given the export targets set,” said Mr Ramsbotham.

“Many regional businesses will wish the Chancellor had been more radical in the pursuit of growth.”

It was not all uninspiring stuff, however.

“There are numerous positives to be taken from the Budget and it’s good to see recognition of some of the priorities put forward in our submission to the Chancellor, in particular the cutting of taxes that raise the cost of employment.

“We also welcome the new measures on fuel duty and home ownership.

“However, the Government has fallen short of providing the raft of measures that businesses and investors need in order to kick-start growth.”

TUC North East secretary Kevin Rowan accused the Chancellor of throttling the economic recovery and leaving working people to pick up the pieces.

“George Osborne’s economic policies have killed confidence, choked growth, harmed services and hit wages across our region,” he said.

“This Budget was an opportunity for the Chancellor to learn the lessons from earlier failures.

“Instead it’s more of the same with attacks on public sector workers and insufficient investment, while the bankers who caused this crisis are queuing up for their tax cuts.

“Unemployment in the North East is up while confidence in George Osborne’s economic policies is at an all-time low.”

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said: “There was no sign of respite for squeezed families. My constituents wanted action to help families and boost jobs and growth, but the Chancellor has let them down.”

The Family

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MOTHER-OF-THREE Danielle Newton is delighted to see the Chancellor making it easier for stay-at-home parents to get back into work.

Danielle and husband Christopher are typical of the hard-working families squeezed by rising living costs and wages which have failed to keep pace.

Christopher, 32, works as a machine operator, but 27-year-old Danielle has previously had little choice but to remain at home in Blackfell, Washington, and care for the couple’s children, Owen and Connor, both eight, and six-year-old Selina.

She is delighted with the announcement of new child care vouchers worth up to £1,200 per child.

Previously, childcare costs were so prohibitive, Danielle was severely restricted in the hours she would be able to work.

“You are limited to what hours you can work with the kids starting school at nine and finishing at three,” she said.

“You have really got to try to find work within those hours.

“This will be much better. With this help, I will be able to put the kids into school earlier and look for a full-time job.”

Danielle is also pleased to see the Chancellor axing the rise in petrol duty planned for September, but does not think it goes far enough

“I think it will help but they should do something to lower the petrol price,” she said.

Danielle gave the thumbs-up to the extension of the personal tax allowance to £10,000, aimed at allowing workers to keep more of their hard-earned cash.

“The extra allowance will be a really big help,” she added.

The Pensioner

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BRIAN Shaw is somewhat underwhelmed by Mr Osborne’s latest effort.

The Chancellor had done little to help pensioners struggling to cope with rising fuel bills and the rocketing cost of living, said 76-year-old Brian, pictured, of Stranton Terrace, Roker.

“I really don’t think there’s much in it for us, and there’s nothing in it for working-class people.”

A penny off the cost of a pint was not going to help.

He said:“I go out on a Saturday night and I have three pints. I really don’t know what I will do with my three pence.”

He was pleased to see the Chancellor drop the fuel duty rise planned for September, and welcomed help for first-time buyers trying to get on to the property ladder – but did not believe it went far enough.

“I bought my house in 1961 and I have never lived anywhere else,” he added. “I would not like to be starting out now and trying to find the money to buy my first home.”

The Businessman

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BRIAN Shaw is somewhat underwhelmed by Mr Osborne’s latest effort.

The Chancellor had done little to help pensioners struggling to cope with rising fuel bills and the rocketing cost of living, said 76-year-old Brian, pictured, of Stranton Terrace, Roker.

“I really don’t think there’s much in it for us, and there’s nothing in it for working-class people.”

A penny off the cost of a pint was not going to help.

He said:“I go out on a Saturday night and I have three pints. I really don’t know what I will do with my three pence.”

He was pleased to see the Chancellor drop the fuel duty rise planned for September, and welcomed help for first-time buyers trying to get on to the property ladder – but did not believe it went far enough.

“I bought my house in 1961 and I have never lived anywhere else,” he added. “I would not like to be starting out now and trying to find the money to buy my first home.”

 

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