‘Tough but fair’ budget - MP Neil Parish

Stimulous for economic growth for small businesses.

A TOUGH, but fair, budget - that is how the newly-elected Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton has described today’s emergency budget.

Neil Parish told the Midweek Herald: “It was a decisive budget that will deal with the record deficit that all of us have inherited from the previous Labour government. After 13 years in power, our deficit is the largest in Europe and one in every four pounds we spend is being borrowed. This budget has been an opportunity to solve past mistakes and plan for the future.

“It was inevitable then that this would be a tough budget and hard decisions at the Treasury would have to be made. It is also a budget, however, that it putting the most vulnerable in society first, such as pensioners and those on a low income.”

Mr Parish added: “Devon has a high number of pensioners and I know many will be pleased to see that the system will finally be working for them. State pension will once again be linked to earning and will be uprated, so it rises by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent from April 2011. This triple lock will benefit 11 million pensioners.

“There will be a public sector pay freeze for two years, but the 1.7 million public servants earning less than �21,000 will be protected. Our servicemen and women will get the break they deserve with the Operational Allowance doubling for those in the Armed Forces. There will be medical assessments for the Disability Living Allowance for all new and existing claimants.”

Mr Parish, who cited a number of items in the budget designed to encourage economic growth, said the budget was good news for small businesses.