Brown responsible for economic turmoil

Ahead of the Chancellor’s statement on the Pre-Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review, Liberal Democrat Leader Ming Campbell called on Gordon Brown to take responsibility for the turmoil in the economy.

Ming accused Gordon Brown of going to ground while his Chancellor tries to steer his way through the stormy economic waters of the Prime Minister’s making.

He said:

“Gordon Brown must stand up and take responsibility for creating an economic outlook full of uncertainty and instability.

“As Chancellor, Gordon Brown happily lauded his own economic wizardry, but failed even to recognise the growing problems of personal debt. Personal debt now stands at £1.3 trillion and households now have to set aside about a fifth of their income to service existing debt, two fifths for first time buyers.

Every day nearly 300 people face insolvency and 75 family homes are repossessed. All the indications are that the problems could get much worse. This is a problem of the Prime Minister’s making and he must take personal responsibility for it.”

Ming Campbell attacked the Prime Minister for creating a situation in which he offered tax breaks for the wealthy while increasing taxes for those on lower and middle incomes. He said:

“Since Labour came to power the gap between rich and poor has increased and social mobility has declined.

“We want to see a cut in national income tax by 4p funded by environmental taxes and taxes on the wealthy.

“Council tax in particular places an unfair burden on pensioners and the low paid, it is likely that by 2011 average council tax bills will have increased by 120% since Labour came to power. It is high time we moved to local taxation based on the ability to pay.

“The majority of people feel overtaxed, it is now time to cut taxation for low and middle income groups to make work pay and ensure that the super-rich pay their fair share.”

Concluding Ming said:

“The UK is now in a situation in which there is likely to be a painful economic slowdown and a housing market correction, given difficulty in servicing high levels of consumer debt, a lack of confidence in the banking system and unfairness in the tax system. Gordon Brown must take personal responsibility for this.”

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2 Responses to Brown responsible for economic turmoil

  1. Pingback: Not a good week to be Gordon Brown | Liberal Democrat Voice

  2. Silver Voter says:

    It is reprehensible that Gordon Brown is not taking responsibility for the financial chaos which the UK is in. I agree with everything Ming Campbell has put forward but would, in fact, go further. It is going to take a very brave and resolute Liberal Democrat Chancellor to unravel this economic fiasco and restore the voters’ confidence in a strong UK economy and it is the rich who will complain the loudest.

    One idea which was put forward by me several years ago was to lower the threshold at which poorer people start to pay the full rate of Income Tax (at whatever level that is set) and restore a 10% Tax level for those on low incomes. The richer folk of the UK forget that there are millions of people barely existing on very low incomes (many of whom are Pensioners, but not all) – as a ‘ball park figure’ £10k is not worth as much as it was 20 years ago and does not go very far – anyone can see that. It is not that folk do not want to pay any Tax but it should be set at a fair level for low income earners. It is no good saying, ‘There is Income Support and other Benefits’ – that is exactly the problem – Pensioners should not be forced into a position in which they have to apply for income Support or other State Benefit. As for the guaranteed Pensioner’s Credit – that is a joke! A few pence over the limit of income allowed and it is not given – whatever people say, it is means-tested.

    Another issue which needs to be resolved is the restoration of the Occupational Pension link to surrent Salaries instead of the rate of inflation – another mismanagement of a previous government!

    No Pensioner should be put in the position of having to be declared insolvent – it is degrading and embarrassing – I know because it has happened to me. We want to come out of the ‘Benefit culture’ – please give us a fighting chance of doing that!

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