"Over the last 4 years, the Government has increased 28 taxes which is equivalent to a 9.8p rise in income tax. Today’s tax cuts announced in the budget are equivalent to a 1p fall. Gordon Brown is the 10p up, 1p down Chancellor who has done nothing in this budget to help save Lichfield’s Victoria Hospital, Hammerwich Hospital or Barton Hospital or to rectify the unfairness of funding in Staffordshire Schools" says Michael Fabricant.
"Next year, South Staffordshire Health Authority will have a recurring deficit of £6.7 million. The Government has assumed that inflation in the NHS will be 2.5% whereas in fact it is 5.2%. Local prescribing costs have been uplifted by 9% while actual costs are up 12%. Accordingly, savings of £3 million will have to be found plus a further £250,000 from our community hospitals including The Vic and its Maternity Unit. No extra money has been given to community hospitals and services such as ours.
"Gordon Brown has also completely ignored the plight of the 40 low income education authorities including Staffordshire. Our County will still get less money per pupil than any other education authority bar one. Labour is spending less on education as a percentage of national income than under the last Conservative Government despite their promise to spend more.
"Local farmers have received no help at all despite the problems from foot and mouth disease, swine fever, and all the rest which have seen farm incomes fall by 70% over the last few years. And everyone living in rural areas will still suffer the highest petrol prices in Europe. The 2p cut in low sulphur petrol is welcome, except I can’t find any petrol stations selling it!
"The average family in Staffordshire now pays £670 more tax under this Labour Government. Any tax reduction is just a small refund of the extra tax we have all been paying since 1997 " adds Michael Fabricant.