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Dundee LibDems slam Budget that hits lowest paid

March 22, 2007 9:07 PM
Cllr Fraser Macpherson, Dundee's Finance Convener

Cllr Fraser Macpherson slams Budget that hits lowest paid

Dundee Liberal Democrats today (Thursday 22nd March) slammed yesterday's Budget as an example of spin that, in reality, hits the poorest paid, and pointed out that the gap between poor and wealthy in Britain is now greater than it was in the time of the Thatcher government.

Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Menzies Campbell MP said, "The Chancellor had the chance to use this final Budget to show that he was listening to the voices of the people of Britain.

"But he has delivered a budget of missed opportunities.

"He had the chance to build a fairer Britain through tax cuts for the low paid - but in fact he has increased income tax for the lowest paid.

"He had the chance to create a greener Britain by taxing pollution - but he shunned it.

"And he had the chance to shape a prudent Britain by saving billions of pounds on government waste - but he avoided it.

"Instead he has spurned all of these opportunities. He has concentrated on his own political succession."

The Budget will do nothing to turn around the falling popularity of Labour, said Nicol Stephen MSP, Leader of the Scottish LibDems. Mr Stephen added, "The Budget doesn't come close to matching the support we are putting in place in Scotland for green energy and fails to boost the market for this new technology by UK action."

Here in Dundee, Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader and Dundee City Council Finance Convener, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, said, "I am appalled that Gordon Brown has doubled the starting rate of income tax - a move that will hit low earners hardest.

"The cut in the basic income tax rate will benefit some, but the many Dundonians who earn less than around £15 000 will pay more in income tax. The Chancellor has abandoned the lowest paid in society. This is a damning conclusion to Gordon Brown's spell at the Treasury."

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