Budget 2018: Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate’s views

PUBLISHED: 16:57 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:57 01 November 2018

Welwyn Hatfield’s Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Barbara Gibson. Picture: Supplied.

Welwyn Hatfield’s Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Barbara Gibson. Picture: Supplied.

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield’s Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate has slammed the MP’s “enthusiastic response” to 2018 Budget.

Following the Budget announcement by chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday, Barbara Gibson, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate has hit out at Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps for his response.

She said: “I was disappointed to see our MP’s enthusiastic response to the budget as “great”.

“I haven’t heard from a single Welwyn Hatfield resident or business owner who shares his view.”

She added that if austerity is, indeed, over, “we should be seeing real investment to repair the damage done, to individuals who have struggled through the last decade and are still worse off than before”.

Barbara insists that this budget “does not address the growing inequalities in our society, and in fact, provides much more benefit to those with the most than to those with the least”.

The native of Oklahoma, USA, also believes that it leaves our schools struggling with underfunding.

She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It leaves local governments dealing with budget cuts at a time when expenses for critical services including social care, public health, and children’s services are all soaring.

“It leaves local policing underfunded at a time when our communities feel less safe.

“It leaves the NHS in dire straits, and fails to address the poor state of mental health care.”

The Welwyn resident said that the chancellor “completely ignored” the impacts that Brexit will have at every level.

She said: “It will not only wipe out the fantasy ‘Brexit dividend,’ but will cost all of us far more than any minor tax savings offered by this budget.”

Regarding Mr Shapps comments on the budget published by the Welwyn Hatfield Times, Barbara commented: “Mr Shapps seems to join him (the chancellor) in his blissful ignorance.

“Perhaps he hasn’t seen the report just published by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which puts Welwyn Hatfield at 60 on the list of local authorities likely to be hardest hit, estimating a -2.5 per cent economic impact in the event of a hard Brexit. “The same report points out impacts to our local businesses including thousands of employees at risk, and individual impacts including the alarming analysis that ‘even in the short run, pensioners would lose between two per cent and four per cent of their income’. This is before we even begin to talk about the impacts to health and social care in our area.”

She continued: “This budget and this Conservative Government are failing to address the real problems that need to be tackled.

“They are failing to face the realities that are affecting real people.

“No wonder people have lost faith in the system.

“With both the Conservatives and Labour now ruled by the extremists in their parties, and both denying the people a right to a vote on the final deal, it’s time for a real alternative.

“We all need to demand better than we are getting. The budget is not just an exercise in grabbing headlines. It is our lives, our family budgets, our healthcare, our communities, our children’s education, our pensions.

“Liberal Democrats demand better.”

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