Thursday, 13 March 2008 13:58

Budget 2008: Reaction at a glance

Written by  Ruralcity Media
RURAL stakeholders have given a mixed reaction to Alistair Darling’s Budget, delivered on Wednesday (12 March).

A selection of responses follows:

“Promises to rural proof government policies have been long forgotten and the countryside has once again been left as the Cinderella at this particular ball.”
Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, president, Country Land & Business Association
.

*     *     *

“More could have been done to support rural businesses, such as introducing a lower rate of VAT for repairs, maintenance and improvement of existing buildings.”
Jason Beedell, head of research, Smiths Gore.

*     *     *

“The Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to convince the small business community that he is on their side.”
Phil Orford, chief executive, Forum of Private Business.

*     *     *

“The Chancellor must create a tax policy that addresses the problem of poverty in the countryside, not compounds them.”
Simon Hart, chief executive, Countryside Alliance.

*     *     *

“Many council leaders will be scratching their heads as they try to work out how they will deliver ever better services for local people with less money.”
Simon Milton, chairman, Local Government Association.

*     *     *

“Identifying sites for 70,000 new homes is a drop in the ocean when two million additional homes need to be built by 2016.”
James Rowlands, RICS public policy officer

*     *     *

“Today’s Budget does not go quite far enough to make the Chancellor the Darling of the countryside, but it contains some encouraging measures.”
Ben Stafford, head of campaigns, Campaign to Protect Rural England.

*     *     *

“We still believe the [fuel duty] increase should not merely be postponed, but scrapped altogether, and we will continue to lobby for that outcome.”
Meurig Raymond, deputy president, National Farmers' Union

*     *     *

             See also:
                     • Budget 2008: Fuel duty rise postponed (12 March 2008)
                     • Budget 2008: More affordable homes (12 March 2008)
                     • Will the Budget benefit rural communities? (11 March 2008)
                     • Spending review ignores rural affairs (9 October 2007)
                     • Chancellor to unveil spending plans (8 October 2007)
                            PM Brown says homes are priority (27 June 2007)

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