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Nick comments on today's Budget

March 18, 2015 5:14 PM

Commenting on today's Budget statement, North Devon MP Nick Harvey said:

"Today's Budget delivered a series of positive measures to strengthen the economy, boost the recovery and build a fairer society. There are clear Lib Dem hallmarks throughout it and Chief Secretary Danny Alexander deserves credit for making this happen.

"North Devonians will benefit first and foremost from another increase in the personal tax allowance - a Lib Dem policy through and through, which David Cameron laughed down during the leaders' debates in 2010 - to £11,000 by 2017. By 2017-18, 324,000 people in the South West will be taken out of income tax altogether thanks to the Lib Dems, and a further 2.31million will receive an average gain of £550 off their income tax bill. This is a matter of basic fairness and it's only right that during difficult economic times we put money back in the pockets of hard-working local people. The Tories may try to claim credit, but can anyone really imagine them putting a policy like this in place if they were governing alone?

"Measures like the new Help to Buy ISA, where the government will provide up to £3,000 to first time buyers while they are saving for a home; the cancellation of the fuel duty increase and more flexibility in ISAs and pension annuities will all be welcomed in North Devon. I'm also particularly pleased, after years of cross-party campaigning, to hear that the Government is providing £25m compensation to Nuclear Test Veterans and their dependants - this is an extremely welcome recognition of the service these men gave during nuclear tests in the 50s and 60s.

"The road to economic recovery is a long one and this Budget by no means neglects that more austerity will follow in the next Parliament, whoever is in government. But I fear that the Tories would continue to cut long after the books are balanced. It is thanks to the Lib Dems in Government that the recovery will be fair and sustainable."