POLITICAL leaders across St Helens have condemned Chancellor George Osborne for piling more pain on local people.
Shaun Woodward, MP for St Helens South and Whiston, described last Wednesday’s budget as “an enormous con trick”.
Among the most controversial elements of the budget were further increases in fuel, alcohol and tobacco duty, higher taxes for pensioners and a cut in tax for the most wealthy.
Mr Woodward said: “The Chancellor continues to steal from the poorest and asks increasingly less from those who, because of their wealth, have the responsibility to help most. Hard working families will find they have been further clobbered by the coalition’s budget.
“When the local elections come in May, the Lib Dems, who have allowed this to happen, should pay a heavy price for their collaboration with the Tories. They’ve robbed the poor to give to the rich. They have hurt the people of Merseyside. How much more pain do they expect people to take?”
Deputy council leader Barrie Grunewald added: “This budget has failed the fairness test and does very little for the residents of St Helens. At a time when we are seeing rising unemployment, rising fuel prices, rising energy prices and a real squeeze on living standards many residents will, rightly, be asking themselves how can it possibly be fair to give 14,000 millionaires a tax cut of £40,000 a year?
“The Conservatives and Lib Dems have chosen to prioritise tax cuts for the wealthiest in society whilst raising taxes for pensioners and offering little to nurses, police officers and teachers. This is a budget that does nothing for growth, rewards bankers and hurts hard working families and pensioners.
“The government have chosen the wrong priorities.”