Budget 2011: Hertfordshire MEP blasts “ideological gamble”

CHANCELLOR George Osborne’s Budget “will drive the country backwards not forwards”, according to Labour’s MEP for Hertfordshire.

East of England MEP Richard Howitt has blasted the coalition Government’s fiscal measures, branding them an “ideologically driven attack on public services”.

Mr Howitt echoed Labour leader Ed Milliband’s attack on the Government’s economic predictions, after Mr Osborne revised next year’s economic growth forecast down from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

And he criticised the chancellor after he announced the creation of 21 new “enterprise zones” – but failed to include Hertfordshire among them.

“The single most important result of the Budget is even slower growth meaning businesses and people without jobs in Hertfordshire will suffer even more,” Mr Howitt said.

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“I am particularly disappointed that there was no mention of Hertfordshire as a location for a new enterprise zone. Our region needs help for growth and jobs too.

“George Osborne had a choice today. A sensible Treasury minister would ease up on his plans to cut slash spending, put in place measures to get unemployment down, and address our crippling shortage of affordable homes.

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“But sadly the Chancellor rejected the plans for growth that make economic sense and instead ploughed on with his ideologically driven attack on public services.

He added: “When you cut jobs, stop house building and create a climate of fear, that risks yet more jobs losses and misery which will drive the country backwards not forwards.”

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