Barrow Labor and business leaders react to mini-budget

REACTION is pouring in from across Cumbria after the Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Karteng’s ‘mini-budget’ announcement on Friday morning.

The region’s Labor Party representatives have hit out at the tax-cutting and increased spending announced, with Barrow and Furness Labor executive committee member Gary Robinson slamming tax cuts that ‘mainly benefit the ultra-rich and big business’, coupled with increased borrowing and rising interest rates, as ‘papering over 12 years of economic failure’.

“To cap it all gigantic windfall profits for fuel companies remain untaxed,” he said.

“This is the biggest tax-cutting event since 1972 and here we go again with huge tax cuts amid rising inflation, rising interest rates, rising bankers’ bonuses and huge borrowing.

“Just when you think the Tories can’t sink any lower, they find a way of lining their cronies pockets while they can as they surely know they are on their way out when the public gets the chance to kick them out at the next general election.”

READ MORE: MPs clash on whether the ‘mini-budget’ will help Cumbria

Furness Young Labour’s Scott Salisbury questioned Barrow MP Simon Fell’s stance on the matter, calling the budget ‘full of handouts for the super rich’.

“Simon Fell told us that he could not support a freeze in the energy price cap for ordinary people because it may disproportionately benefit the richest,” he said.

“Yet he’s happy to support £45bn of tax cuts which will overwhelmingly benefit the richest one per cent in society.”

Meanwhile, a cautiously positive response came from the county’s business leaders, as Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“It’s encouraging to see the Government actively looking at ways to support both individual businesses and stimulate wider long-term economic growth – whether through tax cuts, widening of the criteria for seed investment or plans to streamline the process for larger infrastructure projects such as road and rail.

“Clearly, we welcome the opportunity presented by Investment Zones and the intention to create two new high-growth areas in Cumbria to unlock more inward investment.

“We need to make sure that the new policies help to create a level playing field for all areas and that major opportunities are equally available to Cumbria as well as the major cities.

“We have significant economic strengths and opportunities and can play our part in returning the economy to growth.”

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