Budget - how Osborne could help

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FOR decades our economy has suffered from over-consumption and under-investment.

The Chancellor promised to address this failure but instead has presided over a growing investment gap that has held back growth.

George Osborne can start to undo the damage caused by slashing capital spending by giving greater financial guarantees to infrastructure projects.

The Chancellor should also admit the billions given away in corporation tax cuts have failed to spur investment.

Future cuts should be cancelled and reinvested in more generous capital allowances.

If the Chancellor really wants to help working families, he should abandon shifting the personal allowance and higher rate tax thresholds – which are expensive ways to provide minimal financial gains – and instead reverse cuts to tax credits and universal credit that are hitting working families on low and middle incomes.

He should also widen the remit of the Low Pay Commission by asking it to look at the reasons behind the growth of low paid jobs, as well as reforming procurement arrangements so that public contractors are encouraged to pay a living wage.

The Chancellor has made Britain’s living standards crisis even worse for working families by cutting vital tax credits and child benefit at the same time as time as wages have shrunk in real terms.

The one thing guaranteed to cheer working people would be a bigger salary.

The Chancellor must do all he can to encourage firms to give Britain a pay rise. One way of doing this would be to encourage greater take-up of the living wage.

Derek Barton

Preston and South Ribble Trades Council