Commenting on the last Budget under the Conservative/LibDem Government, Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham said:
“The Budget today will bring no benefit to tens of thousands of people across Teesside who hold low-paid jobs with wages of no more than £5,000-£6,000 a year. Whilst the Chancellor maintains huge tax cuts for millionaires and increases tax free allowances for people earning more than £50,000, low-paid workers gain nothing from changes to the tax system. It is another budget for the better off to be better off still, and the poor to be poorer – he even failed to deliver the promised minimum wage of £7 an hour.
“What we needed was greater investment in creating the kinds of jobs our people need to avoid depending on benefits. Instead, we have millions of jobs at minimum wage, hundreds of thousands of them part-time or on zero-hour contracts, all resulting in uncertainty and poverty.
“Families across the country are hurting and they need an economy that will work for them and give our young people hope for the future.”
Alex did welcome the limited measures to help energy intensive industries – of which there are many on Teesside – but believes they did not go far enough:
“As Co-Chair or the All Party Parliamentary Group on Energy Intensive Industries, I’m very much aware of the challenges that face many companies on Teesside and beyond because of the high costs associated with the cost of carbon.
“The Government, which has imposed additional charges on top of European ones, has promised to help – but the limited help proposed won’t be available for at least another year. That’s another year when companies in Europe and across the world have a competitive advantage, and that is not good for business on Teesside.”