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Press Cycle 13: Budget
What do you think about the Budget?

Deadline 23:59 11/10/19
I have just come from the House where I have been commenting on the budget.

As I have indicated on previous occasions, I will be supporting the Finance Act and generally welcome the various measures the Chancellor has taken. Overall, it is a good budget for Britain.

However, I am also very conscious that this was not a give-away budget in terms of taxation. There are many areas of tax policy that remain unfair.

Foremost among them is the burden of VAT. This has now risen by £7.7 billion over the course of a year. That equates to an additional £390 a year for every household. Some poorer households will not be in a position to afford such an increase.

The income tax thresholds are also an area of concern. These should be indexed to inflation, but the Chancellor left them unchanged. This means that more low-income earners are being dragged into the lower rate of taxation and more middle earners into the higher rate of taxation. This is something that needs to be corrected at the earliest opportunity.

All that said, there are some welcome investments in infrastructure and public services that have come out of the budget. And at least this shows that the increased burden of taxation is being spent wisely and on things that will make life better for ordinary people.

Overall, I think this is a good, prudent budget for Britain. It takes the country forward in a sustainable way. However, I hope that as the outlook improves, future budgets will contain more ambition to inject life into the economy and to reduce taxation so that people can keep more of their own money.
Mrs. Margo Leadbetter
Home Secretary and Secretary of State for DEFRA
Conservative MP for Surbiton
This budget proves that the Conservatives no longer have any semblance of commitment to fiscal responsibility and that it is now Labour who can be trusted to be good stewards of British taxpayers' finances. If Hapless Harold's pace of deficit reduction continues, it could take over fifteen years for Britain to ever see surplus again - that is a generation of more debt and of money wasting away into paying off interest instead of going into our public services.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
The Government has given an addition £320 million to road maintenance over what was requested. Remember that to fully fund housing was £20million. To cut VAT to 5%, it would cost £60million. Which mean we could trim this extra gift, still give £240 million for extra maintenance and fund housing and cut VAT. It’s not a lack of ability- it’s a lack of want to. This isn’t compassionate conservatism; it’s clueless conservatism. They could make the cuts and add the funding, they just don’t want to. The sons and daughters of Thatcher have raised taxes in some areas, refused to cut them on the poorest.
This budget is fantastic, and it goes to show one thing: progressive conservatism is back, and here to stay. I am especially pleased with the increased funding for the Departments of Social Security and Education and Employment. This budget will benefit those who need it the most. With increases in all benefits across the board, more funding for our teachers and schools, and a pay increase to those who provide dedicated public service, this budget is one for the people. With this budget as the springboard, I and my colleagues at DSS and Education now have the chance to undertake an exciting mission: forming an education and welfare system fit for the 21st century
A.W. Dayton Highland
Secretary of State for Education and Future Skills
Member of Parliament for Ayr (1992 - present)
If you had asked me what I expected before reading the budget I would've said, "Tax increases and decrease spending, with the eye towards having a surplus soon." However, the Conservative party decided to go on a spending spree and made sure the British people paid the bill. In our alternative budget the Labour Party found money to decrease taxes on everyday Britons while making sure to run a smaller deficit. The Conservative Party can no longer be trusted with the budget unless we expect the British people to foot the bill for their reckless spending for the next 30 years. The biggest highlight of this spending is putting an extra 320 million pounds in transportation? Here is an Economics lesson for those in Blue, with each new pound invested into the same area the return on the investment goes down. It's called the law of diminishing returns. The United Kingdom would be better off if the government had put that money cutting taxes and lowering the budget deficit.
MP from Aberavon (1992-Present)
Instead of coming up with kinky nicknames like Hapless Harold the opposition should spare more of a thought for our emergency services considering they barely even acknowledged the requested personnel increases by emergency services. But then again this is typical cynical “we know best Labour”. After all they have spent countless days moaning and groaning in the press while Conservatives have delivered tangible results for the public for over 16 years now. And in our Tory budget? Every emergency service funding request was fulfilled because we know those who know the job day in and day out know it best. We support our emergency services even when Labour doesn’t. Conservatives care. Conservatives give a damn.
Defence, Energy, Trade Secretary 1994-
 Westminster North
In our Shadow Budget we deliver the requested police and make an investment of over £500 million into our fire services whilst managing our economy effectively enough to reduce the deficit more than the Conservatives and keep taxes lower. 

Because the Conservatives have shown no fiscal restraint and have put money into waste rather than investment, the working people of this country suffer for it. More in poverty paying income tax and national insurance, pensioners going cold as there's a tax hike on their fuel and middle class families being hit by this government's safety tax - this government want you to believe that they've had a change of heart and now care. They don't. They just manage the economy carelessly to boot. 
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
The Conservatives' reckless approach to spending which sees them spending hundreds of millions on projects that weren't even requested means that they've had to fill some of that gap with a reckless approach to taxes without even paying down Britain's debts.

The result is gambling levy going from 8% to over a quarter in the space of a day, unsustainable increases to tobacco tax and adding a penny to beer duty when we already have one of the highest duties in Europe. Even where we support tax increases, having been called for the VAT exemption on gambling to be removed before the Tories and supporting moderate increases in tobacco duty, we know these sharp increases are written on the back of fag packets when we need sensible, moderate increases to taxation. 

The result of the Tories' reckless tax increases mean less tax revenue for public services tomorrow, thousands of jobs in the service industry lost and the poorest having to pick up the bill for their economic mismanagement. I had felt too harsh for calling the Chancellor hapless - but I understated the problem: his approach to the economy is dangerous, not hapless. 

We have just come out of a major recession and the Conservatives' apology budget forgets that we've been left with a major deficit. Harold Saxon says he is engaging in a programme of smart spending, but he's shown himself incapable of making any of the tough decisions when it comes to scaling back spending and prioritising investment.

The most shameful example of this is any drive to push for efficiency in Whitehall: for his own office and the Prime Minister's office funding was almost met exactly. Instead of forcing their own offices to tighten their belts in these tough times, the Prime Minister and Chancellor have pushed taxes onto working Britons and made them tighten theirs - leading to too many pensioners choosing between heating or eating. This isn't smart spending, it's Whitehall waste and misplaced priorities.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
I must say I'm rather delighted to see the Labour Party adopt many of our policies concerning the budget. We've lowered the basic rate to 24% with a goal of 20%, they're now supporting this. We've privatised British Coal, they're now supporting this. They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but the Shadow Chancellor could have at least have made it less obvious that they've been copying our notes.


Labour politicians are running so far away from their past that its hard to keep up; not only are they adopting Conservative policies but they're even dropping major ones of their own such as their 1992 pledge for a new 50% top rate. At the end of the day, Labour's alternative budget is a weak attempt to try and one-up our budget but it fails in so many areas. Mrs. Edwards talks of low taxes but throws away principles and past promises - an Iron Lady she is not.
Prime Minister John Kenneth Masters, MP for Torbay

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