Sheffield City Council Leader Paul Scriven reassures the people of Sheffield that they will not be affected by the cuts after Labour leader Ed Miliband accused Chancellor George Osbourne of conning voters with small giveaways that are dwarfed by tax rises.
Mr Scriven’s comments came after Mr Miliband likened Mr Osborne to Derek Trotter, the cockney wheeler dealer in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses during today’s budget. He said: “The Chancellor has cut fuel duty by 1p, but he’s whacked up VAT on fuel by 3p. Families won’t be fooled’ its Del Boy economics.”
In the budget Mr Osborne cancelled next month’s 4p rise in fuel duty and a further 1p will be cut from pump prices at 6pm- all paid for by a £2bn tax on oil companies. He also froze alcohol duties and air duties- but increased tobacco tax by 2%.
Mr Osborne told MPs: “Last year’s emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation’s finances, and paying for the mistakes of the past.
“Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future.
“And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price.”
To help families with the high costs of living, council tax is to be frozen or reduced this year in every English council and a 10% discount on inheritance tax is to be given for people leaving 10% of their estate to charity. With Mr Osborne stating: “Do the right thing for charity and the Government will do the right thing for you.”
Sheffield City Councillor Leader Paul Scriven claims the spending cuts will not cause a problem for the people of Sheffield: “One thing I have been clear about is that we wouldn’t be having mass closures. There have been no closures of public buildings such as libraries, leisure centres or public toilets.”
Despite Mr Scriven’s reassurance that Sheffield will not be affected by the cuts, not everyone is convinced.
Student Nurse Rachael Davy, 21, said: “It’s ok saying public buildings are being kept open, but the fact of the matter is there are less jobs and unemployment is high. That is what they should be working on.”
There also seems to be a worry about the future of students in the city, student Alex Unwin, 22, said: “Sheffield brings in thousands of students every year, they want to graduate and get a good job, as the government has cut so many jobs it is less likely they will find jobs adding to the unemployment rate.”
Rise in petrol prices is also a big concern, food innovations assistant Rachel Rasouli, 20, said: “They’re trying to sugar coat it, but petrol prices are rising, the cost of living is going up and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.”
Justice Minister, Kenneth Clarke, also didn’t seem convinced by the Chancellors ‘budget for growth’ as he appeared to doze off during his speech, prompting a dig by Mr Miliband: “Indeed the Justice Secretary fell asleep during the Chancellor’s speech, his growth strategy was so compelling.”
By Carrie-Ann Vessey