Tag Archives: budget 2016

WATCH: Tim Farron’s response to the “sweet and sour” budget

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Caroline Pidgeon writes…This is a “microwave” budget from Osborne

This is a ‘microwave’ budget from George Osborne. He has just re-heated many announcements already made.

Some announcements can be welcomed – albeit cautiously at this stage as we haven’t seen the precise detail. Devolution of Business Rates and the proposals for financing infrastructure projects from land value increases are things the Liberal Democrats have long argued for.

Those of us in London had already been told last week that Crossrail 2 was going ahead and that there would be a need for Londoners to match fund the development costs. The increase in the share of business rates retained by London will help fund this vital new project, but a £1.9billion cut in TfL funds, as a result of Sadiq Khan’s fares policy, puts at risk important investment in London’s future transport needs.

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Lib Dems respond to the budget

As Lib Dems respond to the Budget, we will update this post:

Kirsty Williams was first off the mark as she slammed Osborne’s halving of the Severn Bridge tolls as “pathetic.”

Frankly, the proposed cut in the tolls is pathetic. Once back in public ownership, there is no need whatsoever for there to be tolls on these bridges. The Chancellor is cynically acting as if he is doing commuters a favour, but the fact is that he wants to keep this unfair tax on entering Wales. Only the Liberal Democrats will completely scrap these tolls.

The lack of any real progress on the Swansea Tidal Lagoon is yet another nail in the coffin of the Tories’ green credentials. The Liberal Democrats ensured that the Coalition Government fully backed the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project. With the Tories on their own, all we have seen is minister after minister talking this project down. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon must go ahead. It will lead to thousands of new green jobs and supply energy for 120 years – over three times as long as a nuclear plant.

The Port Talbot enterprise zone is good news and I hope will go a long way in helping rejuvenate the area. The Labour Government must pull its weight and set up an urban regeneration company for Port Talbot to help counter the impacts of the decline in heavy industry and manufacturing.

It’s clear for all to see that North Wales has been neglected for too long and has not been getting its fair share of infrastructure projects. I welcome any progress in improving transport links in the area, however the people of North Wales need more than a sentence of warm words ahead of an election.

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Budget live blog

Welcome to our Budget 2016 live blog.

In the last few minutes, I’ve come over all feverish and sicky. There’s every possibility that that is not related to the imminence of a Tory budget, but we can’t be entirely sure.

I’m on the sofa with my Official Hiding Behind Pillow and a cup of tea, survival essentials for  any Osborne speech.

During the coalition years, it was more of a rollercoaster. One minute I’d be punching the air at every Liberal Democrat policy clearly enacted. Then despair as we wondered why the hell we’d agreed to THAT. Now it’s just a straightforward hurtle to the bottom. We know that Tories will protect the rich at the expense of the poor. Raising the tax threshold, our Lib Dem policy, won’t help those stuck with cuts to Universal Credit and a four year benefit freeze.

The thing is, after Labour’s failures on tax credit and Universal Credit cuts, can we trust the to speak up for the poorest?

Let’s wait and see.

Apparently we are on course to achieve a budget surplus. Why would we do that when we don’t have enough houses for the poorest people to live in?

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