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A bad news Budget for Liverpool

Thousands of pensioners across Merseyside will be wondering whether to eat or heat the house

Written by . Published on March 20th 2014.

A bad news Budget for Liverpool

THE nation’s better off pensioners may be giving three cheers to chancellor George Osborne. But does the budget signal another “Nightmare on Dale Street” scenario for Mayor Anderson? 

Look at the small print and its clear the Conservatives will continue their austerity measures well beyond 2015 (should they win next year’s general election), possibly into the 2020s. 

It’s already grim up north, but life could become even grimmer. Nevertheless, Osborne, MP for wealthy Tatton, was grinning like a Cheshire Cat as he fronted the longest ever party political broadcast this week. 

Maybe many of his affluent older constituents will form an orderly queue to snap up Pensioner Bonds and stash their money in ISAs, while thousands of pensioners across Merseyside will be wondering whether to eat or heat the house. Doing both is not an option for far too many people. 

Torybingo1984Pic courtesy of www.b3ta.com

It’s known as the Budget but in Parliamentary speak it is the Ways and Means Statement, and it was immediately clear the Chancellor was being mean in the way he was tackling the economy. 

The cue came in Osborne’s opening remarks….if you’re a maker, a doer or a saver this budget is for you. In other words if you are poor, unemployed, struggling to make ends meet in these strained times, then you are on your own. 

No longer will it pay NOT to work, he said between the applause and cheers from the government side. 

What about people relying on food banks, desperate for work, forced to accept unpredictable zero-hours contract jobs? 

Osborne made it clear a cap on the welfare budget would be permanent, including housing benefit.   

Will that mean a big reduction in the money given to councils like Liverpool to pay for housing benefit. It is already being rationed, but there could be worse to come. It could end up as bad as the hated bedroom tax if people are forced to dip into their food money to pay the rent. 

Public sector spending cuts will continue  into the next government he said. But never mind, you can drown your sorrows with that penny or a pint, or escape to the bingo hall to celebrate the halving of the duty paid by owners.  

Wonder what the catchy titles will be when numbers 10 and 11 are called? 

The Chancellor, either forgetful or using political sleight of hand, announced AGAIN a money guarantee for the new Mersey bridge, unless there are plans for three or four new bridges between Widnes and Runcorn. 

DodoDodoIt’s not even government dosh he’s handing over to the half-starved north. The £270m is a government guarantee. The actual cash will be paid by money generated from tolls.  Around 90,000 vehicles a day use the current Silver Jubilee Bridge. With a toll of £2 a trip, it will be a money spinner. 

The Chancellor spoke of the Government wanting to help business by helping regional airports – he particularly mentioned Liverpool JLA – to introduce long haul flights. That means the pensioners of Liverpool will be able to cash in their pension pots, pensioner bonds and ISAs and jet off to sunnier climes. 

It was as though Osborne and Co were declaring people on welfare as an endangered species, doomed to follow in the footsteps of the dodo. And when you think about it, the dodo does share a strong resemblance with the Liver Bird.

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16 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Emma BMarch 21st 2014.

John Bradley: I doubt Gibraltar will be happy with the new tax on where punters live or the tax on FOBTs. Ladbrokes shares fell 20%. As for Larry's Ways and Means pun, he must be the OAP with the lights off.

Rent AsunderMarch 22nd 2014.

The £25 billion of taxpayers' money that is spent annually on Housing Benefit could be cut dramatically and make life better for everyone* by re-introducing rent control. This was rashly abolished by the last lot of short-sighted Tories in the 1980s. . *Except parasitic landlords who currently sit on their overfed arses whilst the money rolls in.

Harry MillerApril 14th 2014.

Mr Neild playing to the gallery rather than reporting the facts I see. No mention of increasing the tax threshold - £800 a year to the average joe - two grand for childcare along with free school meals for all primary school children. Where is the bad news for pensioners he mentioned? Not referred to again. With these jaundiced views is it any wonder voters in Liverpool continually vote in Labour numpties like Anderson?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Rip DoffApril 14th 2014.

Only to the "average joe" who is lucky enough to still have a job in Tory Britain paying sufficient wages for it to be a meaningful increase; but even then it will be swallowed by the rise in energy prices from the cartel of privatised cowboys - oh sorry - 'competitive business market' I meant to say...

AnonymousApril 14th 2014.

perhaps I am missing the point, but I didn't see any playing to the gallery in the article. I am a pensioner, surviving (or at least trying to) on the basic state pension. Short of winning the lottery that's it till I snuff it. If the tax threshold was increased by a million pounds it would not make any difference to me, or hundreds of thousands of pensioners like me Mr Miller. Are total income is well below the increased personal allowance. Oh yes, we got a small increase this month. But guess what it was all grabbed back in other ways. Pensioners are actually going backwards and face a miserable future. There was nowt in the budget for me and the likes of me Mr Miller. I wonder how many Liverpool pensioners will be queuing up to buy pensioner bonds? Very few I suspect.

Flat BrokeApril 15th 2014.

Hear hear, Rip Doff and Anonymous. "Two grand for childcare" is one of the many worthless hand outs "playing to the gallery". I take it you do not have children and have to work like most of us, otherwise you would realise that the average cost of a full time nursery or child minding place in Liverpool is around £15, 000 a year. The child tax credit has all but been abolished. So-called jobs are lowly paid on zero hours contracts meaning that parents cannot commit to a full-time childcare place as their employer will not commit to paying them a regular living wage. This is the reality - and as for any prospect of an occupational pension in this country of ugly, cold, hard policies, you can sodding well forget it.

Harry MillerApril 15th 2014.

That's cobblers. For a start children of nursery age get first 15 hours free, then there are childcare vouchers. I pay for an after school club and get 70% of that paid back via tax credits. It can still be very expensive as I am aware BUT the changes make it more attractive than under Labour which is exactly the point Im making. So, yes I have a children and yes I have a mother who is a basic state pensioner. I also know the country is virtually bankrupt. So exactly what do you suggest. Spend more money we dont have>? Im not a raving right winger. I think all public sector pensions should be paid at a percentage rate and then paid out as a flat rate. Why should well off middle and senior managers in councils and hospitals have fat cat payments for life when they have probably all paid off their mortgages?

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