‘Budget is for Tory voters’ – Ritchie

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Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Speaking following the Budget by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Westminster, SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie expressed disappointment at the limited measures announced that fail to support families, small business and rural communities. Commenting after the budget debate, Ritchie said, “The budget is a budget for Tory voters – not for families, small businesses, or rural communities. “This budget was aimed to pull in Tory voters and it is a matter of enormous regret that the Chancellor did not include provisions that would pump prime small to medium businesses, assist rural communities or help families. Instead, it was a budget for the well-off that simply serves to satisfy Tory voters. “The Chancellor spoke of the long term investment in the UK’s digital communications infrastructure and the rolling out of ultrafast broadband of 100 megabits per second in ‘nearly all UK premises’,” she continued. “This is at a time when many people in rural communities are struggling to secure even basic broadband and in some cases aren’t connected to broadband at all – to the detriment of their business, educations and social connectivity. “It was also bitterly disappointing that no measures were announced in [the] budget to reduce VAT on tourism. We heard numerous times about the difficulties being experienced by young people struggling to get jobs. Ritchie added, “Given the right circumstances, the tourism sector has strong potential to grow and expand creating more jobs and this reduction of VAT on Tourism is supported across the chamber. It is an issue that must be carried into the new parliament, and it is one I would fully intend to champion.”
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