Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor and Prospective District Council Candidate, this week delivered his verdict on the Budget which sets out the Government’s plans for taxes and public spending. Giles highlighted a series of areas where local residents across West Lindsey will lose out:
• Clobbering responsible drinkers: Instead of targeting irresponsible binge drinkers, responsible drinkers are being hit with inflation-busting increases in alcohol duties, raising £1.5 billion in extra taxes over the next three years.
• Little help for pensioners: The Winter Fuel Allowance has been increased for the first time in five years. But the increase is only a one-off for this year. Meanwhile, the burden of council tax bills is set to rise by another £1.2 billion this year, with council tax rises coming on top of hikes in previous years.
• Harder to get onto the housing ladder: This Budget fails to address the growing burden of stamp duty on first-time buyers - half of whom now pay stamp duty. More family homes will be paying 3 and 4 per cent stamp duty, as the thresholds are unchanged.
• Higher income tax and National Insurance for many: Tax changes on National Insurance and income tax announced in the last Budget are still to come into effect. Independent experts have calculated that 3.5 million families will be worse off as a result.
• Drivers face new stealth taxes: The Government is to fund new technology to impose controversial ‘spy-in-the-sky’ national road pricing taxes. Meanwhile, family cars face extra taxes of £735 million a year, but the tax cuts on small cars are only worth £15 million a year.
Giles McNeill said:
“The cost of living is rising fast, but Gordon Brown’s Government has added to it with a barrage of new stealth taxes. This is a bad news Budget that adds £110 a year to the tax bill for families across Lincolnshire.
“Any extra taxes on alcohol or cars should be offset by tax cuts elsewhere, but Labour has just used them as an excuse to raise more money for Gordon Brown’s coffers. Taxes and borrowing are up because the Government failed to use the good years to prepare for the bad years.”