Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hopes for the Autumn Statement

A fuel duty freeze is top of my wish list - this may not happen but we have pushed as hard as we can, having met the Treasury team several times to stress the point that a car in Northumberland is a necessity not a luxury. Fuel is still on May 2010 levels of duty, and it went up 10 times under Labour, so I think we are doing well on this issue so far.
- further infrastructure spending - this looks likely to happen for sure
- a statement that sees the wealthy pay more and bears the biggest load. I have pushed for a type of mansion tax or a raising of the highest council tax band payment.
- an increase in shale gas exploration
- further clamping down on tax avoidance - I think it is good news that companies like Starbucks are being brought to book
- there will have to be further savings made though. We need to bring our debts under control and cut our spending.

On the BBC on Monday I again stressed the point, with my Liberal colleague Stephen Gilbert, that jobs have increased this month, last month, the month before that and the month before that - and that youth unemployment is down. The economy is turning round but it is very slow to do it whilst the eurozone is going to hell in a handcart.
I will be doing BBC Radio Newcastle at 9.10, and then TV later in the day after the statement