Not a Budget for Borderers

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Michael Moore MP hailed Chancellor George Osborne for setting a budget for the many, not the few, but has totally disregarded the needs of many Borderers.

The Borders has an above-the-national-average number of elderly and the scrapping of the age-related personal allowance for those over 65 will mean that pensioners are big losers. Pensioners will have their tax-free allowance frozen, and if they are 62 or 63 years old, they will be taxed at the same rate of any other taxpayers when they retire.

Inappropriate or lack of good bus services in some areas results in many Borderers needing to use a car, yet the Chancellor has refused to stop the rise of 3p per litre of fuel due in August – another drain on people’s pockets.

Of course this increase will also bring about higher prices in weekly shopping bills as shoppers end up paying the extra transport costs incurred by shopkeepers, including supermarket chains. A further outcome is that more shops will close as business diminishes, and a likelihood of less jobs available as companies struggle to keep within their budgetary resources.

This was a budget for the rich and not for the ordinary working man or pensioner, set by MPs who, as one of their first pieces of legislation, made it almost impossible to get them out by voting to stay in power for five years.

It’s time for the people of the Borders to judge and remember how they are being treated by this coalition government who still let the bankers take huge bonuses, even when they are losing Borderers’ money. As for Mr Moore, he has shown his true colours.

Jim Torrance

(SNP candidate for Leaderdale and Melrose ward)

Honeylees Drive

Tweedbank

How can there be so many contradictions in the world of politics?

Reports that the non-Tory element of the Westminster coalition is preventing the worse excesses of Conservative policies coming to the fore must be a major part of these contradictory statements.

Statements such as:

Pensioners will be no worse off – the new measures will save £3billion: If no pensioner will be worse off, how do you make £3billion of savings?

Tax cuts to the rich will cost very little – we will get the money back and more by having a duty tax on home selling worth over £2million: The 50p tax is collected every week, but how often do millionaires buy a £2million house to replace the tax reduction?

I can just see all those already-wealthy people who have just accumulated even more money thinking, I wonder how I can best pay more tax to make up for the taxes I have been avoiding paying under the 50p rate?

Then we have local politics.

The now-gone Scottish Borders Council chief executive David Hume has left with an early retirement/redundancy package – the situation is that you cannot be both. If redundancy is declared then that means the job has gone, yet I believe that a new chief executive was appointed after he left.

On the jobs front there was nothing startling in the Budget that looks to the creation of long-term secure employment.

Tory MSP John Lamont said the Scottish Government is making the situation worse. Hello John, who introduced this national Budget? Meanwhile, there are more and more young people being placed on the scrapheap, while the politicians blame each other for their own inadequacies.

And then I saw the headline, “Teenage SBC candidate ditches Labour”. The story goes on to describe that the candidate had resigned from the local Labour Party – in order for a resignation to happen you must tell someone, maybe the letter is in the post. He then alludes that his resignation was due to some disagreements on Labour’s policies. That will be a real surprise to all local Labour members who knew him as he never at any point gave any indication he even understood what they were. Ah well, politics is a funny old game.

Any Liberal Democrat potential voter must by now have woken up to the idea that the 30 pieces of silver is a price worth paying for giving up principles wholesale, but neither shame nor remorse will be shown by any of them.

One thing that will never be a contradiction, the rich will never take from the rich.

Rab Stewart

Roberts Avenue

Selkirk

Given the nature of last week’s Budget, is it not time for George Osborne to resurrect the Milk Marketing Board?

C. John

High Street

Melrose