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Budget 2011 – A first reaction   (Roger Gale, MP. North Thanet)

North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale has this (Wednesday 23rd March) lunchtime described as “Good for families and good for small businesses”. Chancellor George Osborne`s first Spring budget.
Speaking at the House of Commons immediately following the Chancellor`s statement the MP has said:
“Today`s budget has set out the government`s plan for recovery and reform:  recovery to promote growth, investments and exports and reform of unsustainable finance and public spending.
We now have the opportunity to make the case for Thanet and Sandwich to be one of the new Enterprise Zones  announced by the Chancellor and in the wake of the Pfizer announcement that is a case that Laura Sandys and I will be immediately taking to the Prime Minister, the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Business and Industry. The additional reduction in corporation taxes will again make Britain a better place to invest in and, as a consequence will make it easier for us to attract new businesses to East Kent.
I also welcome moves to extend the apprenticeships that our young people want to more of the small and medium-sized businesses that George Osborne described as `the innocent victims of the credit crunch`.  A regulations honeymoon, the extension of the rates holiday for small businesses and  40,000 new places will enable firms to create real opportunities for those seeking proper work experience as part of training.
The changes to the pensions regime that are in the pipeline will lead to a fairer and more affordable system . Small local charities will benefit as a result of the simplification of the rules governing Gift Aid. And changes to personal taxation will take a significant further number of people out of income tax altogether.
The rise in fuel costs has hit every family in the country and the introduction of a Fair Fuel stabilizer coupled with an immediate reduction in duty and a longer term freeze on fuel duty increases will reduce transport costs and, as a consequence the costs of goods.
Roger Gale adds:
“This budget has, of course, to be set against the backdrop of the economic position inherited, less than a year ago, by the coalition government.  The nation`s credit card was maxed out and interest on our country`s debts, representing the biggest budget deficit in our peacetime history,  has been running at £120 million a day  - which is more than we are spending on schools, defence or the police.
Last year`s emergency budget that immediately followed the general election was a rescue mission designed to keep UK Limited afloat while more long-term and permanent measures were put in place.  What we have heard from George Osborne this afternoon  indicates that notwithstanding the very limited room for manoeuvre that the present state of our finances has permitted the Chancellor is determined to recognise the needs of ordinary families and, at the same time, to hang out a sign that says “Britain is open for business”.

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