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Widnes and Runcorn Weekly News; Halton Tory prospective parliamentary candidate Ben Jones criticises budget

The following story appears in this week’s Widnes and Runcorn Weekly News;

A TORY hopeful claims big tax rises are hidden in the ‘small print’ of last week’s Budget.

Halton prospective parliamentary candidate Ben Jones criticised what he described as the lack of a credible plan to deal with public debt.

He claimed:
Income tax will increase by stealth for 30 million people.

National Insurance will be hiked for workers and for firms, meaning anyone earning £20,000 a year or more will be worse off.

Duties on alcohol will rise by above inflation and a new cider tax will punish responsible drinkers.

Halton council tax bills will hit £1,350 – a rise of 97% since 1997.

Inheritance tax will rise by stealth, due to the decision to freeze thresholds at £325,000 for four years.

Anyone with a fixed telephone line will have to pay a yearly tax.

Business rates will rise by £1bn for local businesses, meaning soaring bills for many struggling firms.

The Government’s total debt is forecast to hit £1.4trillion, equivalent to every person in Halton owing £23,000, resulting in higher interest rates and more expensive mortgages.

Mr Jones said: “Our economy is still in trouble. People worry about their jobs, families see their incomes squeezed, and many small firms cannot get the support they need from the banks even though the Government bailed those banks out.

“Most people across Halton feel worse off than they did five years ago and yet Gordon Brown is carrying on the same old policies of waste, stealth taxes and debt. A Conservative Government will set about balancing the books, while protecting those on modest incomes.”