Cautious welcome for budget

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, March 20, 2014

 

A CAUTIOUS welcome has been given to yesterday’s (Wednesday) budget by the chief executive of the Isle of Wight branch of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Lee Hodgson warned however, that many people on lower incomes still faced a 'daily struggle to fight off poverty’ and making ends meet.

Mr Hodgson said: "The proposals to free up pensions are welcome, particularly the new 'right to advice’ which recognises the significant value of impartial trusted advice.

"The chancellor George Osborne talked about making, doing and saving. The budget needs to work for those who are making do and can’t save.

"We’re half way through the austerity programme and many spending cuts have yet to bite. Families are feeling the cumulative impact of the stripping away of support and services from all sides.

"Support for childcare will be a welcome relief but it’s only partial respite for households dealing with almost a decade of austerity.

"Better targeting childcare support to the poorest families will help to make work pay for them. Stronger immediate investment in house building would ease the pressure on people struggling to manage rocketing housing costs. Putting weight behind efforts to help young people into work will prevent a new generation of long-term job seekers."

He added: "Government must take the long view of positive economic news. Unemployment is down, but growing self-employment can be a sign of instability. Self employed people are as likely to get debt help from their local Citizens Advice Bureau as unemployed people."

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