Budget: MP says ‘smug and complacent’ Chancellor does little for Hartlepool

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

YESTERDAY’S Budget does very little to help people in Hartlepool or improve living standards, claims the town’s MP Iain Wright.

Mr Wright said he felt the Chancellor George Osborne delivered the Budget in “a manner which showed smugness and complacency as if everything in the garden is rosy”.

But the MP argued: “I speak to constituents every day and the message I get from people in Hartlepool is that this is a Government that isn’t helping them, that isn’t raising living standards.

“This Budget doesn’t change that.

“The Chancellor told us over and over that is a Budget for savers so why in the Red Book does the forecast show the savings ratio to fall from 7.2 per cent in 2012 to 3.2 per cent in 2018.”

Mr Wright has previously called for a cut in the beer duty, and the Chancellor obliged.

But the town’s MP said: “The beer duty cut will be welcomed a penny off the pint, is not exactly worth raising a glass to.

“I speak to brewers and pub landlords and they are all still struggling, a penny off the pint is a step in the right direction but it’s not going to have a major difference.”

Mr Wright has previously spoken out about the need to tackle the issue of fixed odds betting terminals, telling the Mail he has concerns that the machines are “leeching off the poor”.

The Chancellor yesterday announced duty on the fixed-odds terminals will be raised to 25 per cent.

Mr Wright welcomed the move, but did so with caution.

“It’s a step in the right direction, there’s no doubt about that but I fear with this the devil may well be in the detail.”