MP condemns Westminster budget

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ANGUS MP Mike Weir damned the Chancellor’s latest budget with faint praise last week.

Mr Weir passed comment on the budget unveiled on Thursday by George Osborne MP.

He said: “George Osborne’s fourth budget looks like the Chancellor has learnt nothing from last year’s omni-shambles as thing start to unravel.

“Promises become unpicked and confidence in the coalition’s economic strategy ebbs away. His centrepiece housing policy, should it even work, may simply replicate an unsustainable housing boom in southern England.

“It’s became clear that the initial promise of extra funding for Scotland had unravelled. The Scotland Office had to admit that their ‘offer’ to Scotland amounts to nothing more than funny money, rather than the real extra spending power that we need to see injected into the economy.

He added: “They were forced to admit that they are offering nothing more than loans, instead of real spending for Scotland. It’s just funny money. George Osborne has taken £107 million of resources from Scotland’s budget, and is entirely based on loans.”

Mr Weir did highlight what he considered the positive aspects of the budget. He said: “There were a few pieces of good news, such as the abandonment of the next rise in fuel duty and the reduction of national insurance for employers, and these are welcome.

“The announcement of the bringing forward of the flat rate retirement pension will also right a wrong for many women who were losing out because of increases in retirement age but lost out on the new pension.

“The real worry , however, will come in June when the Westminster Government unveils its spending review and for which we should be brace for more austerity and iniquitous cuts like the bedroom tax, which will take more money out of the local economy of Angus and hit many businesses hard.”