City MPs give views on Budget's announcements
AS MIGHT be expected from the colour of their politics, Plymouth's MPs either think Chancellor George Osborne's Budget announcement was great for the city and region – or left the area out of an infrastructure boom.
Oliver Colvile, Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said: "This is a budget aimed at growth and encouraging employment."
He also welcomed the increase in pay for members of the armed forces.
But clearly aware of the problems which emerged in the wake of last year's Budget, such as the pasty tax, Mr Colvile added: "Whilst I welcome it broadly I am also very aware there may be issues in the detail which may yet become apparent."
Alison Seabeck, Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View, said: "In the South West we have been pressing for infrastructure projects to support our local economies – rail and road, plus investment to maintain Plymouth's vital air link.
"We have seen little progress despite the rhetoric.
"We need that work now not in 2016, 2017 or 2018. The budget is, in so many ways, a case of this year, next year, sometime never.
"So many decisions are being shoved back towards and beyond the next General Election."
She added: "The Government's economic policy isn't making sense.
"What we need is a more steady and more balanced plan where cuts which have to be made are seen to be fair and proportionate and where the same rule applies to tax breaks.
"Fairness in adversity is something people understand. What they don't understand is why some sections in our community are getting such a kicking from this Government."
But Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for South West Devon, said: "I think it's a terrific budget for the West Country with help for house-buyers and small and medium-sized businesses.
"I am hoping this will see more jobs created and more people buying their own homes."
Sheryll Murray, Tory MP for South East Cornwall, said: "It's a really good budget for South East Cornwall."
Hailing the scrapping of the planned fuel duty increase, Mrs Murray said: "That is fantastic news for the majority of my constituents who have to commute."
Mrs Murray also welcomed the help for small businesses and would-be housebuyers struggling to get on the property ladder, as well as the relief for taxpayers through a rise in the personal allowance.
A planned 3p rise in beer duty tax was also being scrapped and replaced by a 1p cut on a pint of beer. "The pubs are the lifeblood of a lot of my small villages. I think it's fantastic."