Talking Politics: Budget failed the northern test

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street. The chancellor defended his Budget saying the nation has to tackle the nation's economic problems.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street. The chancellor defended his Budget saying the nation has to tackle the nation's economic problems.

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The recent budget generated many headlines, much comment and plenty of reaction. Ultimately most people ask “how will it benefit me?”

In short, the answer is sadly, not a lot. Governments of all colours have a certain amount of money they want to pull in through taxes.

If they cut in one area, they will raise in another. It’s the harsh reality of treasury politics. Tinkering with micro economics has always gone on.

Yes, many will drink to 1p coming off a pint but the reality is it will make little difference.

It’s the big economic decisions that matter. Investing in jobs, creating growth, getting Britain building again.

The Government has been snoozing on these big issues and their alarm clock has gone off a bit too late.

They tried to address them in the budget; posing the right questions, but sadly coming up with the wrong answers.

On house building, there needs to be capital released to get more affordable houses built. Measures to help people who already have a house is one thing, but where was the assistance to get people on the property ladder for the first time?

Our local council has been starved of cash meaning their main priority is to minimise cuts, not maximise investment. The public sector pay cap will hardly see people rushing to our high streets to spend. Our area relies on a strong public sector to keep the local economy ticking over.

It was a budget aimed at strengthening the financial markets rather than the job markets. Reducing petrol and beer prices might be populist moves, but they will hardly get the economy moving in Calderdale.

The way to do that is by investing in people’s skills, providing secure employment and getting some affordable houses built. We are crying out for such measures in towns and cities up ‘ere.

Quite simply, the budget failed the northern test and people in communities across Calderdale.