“With its Pre-Budget Report, the Government has missed a golden opportunity to boost the East Dunbartonshire economy. At a time when people in our area need money back in their pockets, we have instead seen a jumble of inadequate measures with a colossal price tag attached.
“Alistair Darling’s temporary cut in VAT, which amounts to a 50p cut in a £25 restaurant bill, will not provide the stimulus that the economy badly needs. Indeed, VAT is not even payable on essential items such as food and children’s clothes, so is unlikely to have any meaningful impact on struggling families in East Dunbartonshire.
“The Government should have introduced measures to make the tax system fairer on a permanent basis, by cutting income taxes for those on low and middle incomes.”
Jo also criticised the Government for failing to provide adequate help for pensioners in East Dunbartonshire:
“The Chancellor’s pledges to help pensioners this winter are, frankly, insulting. It was originally promised that pension credit would rise to £130 as long ago as 2007. Pensioners have therefore known about this rise for two years, and are now being told to wait another five months. Pensioners in the East Dunbartonshire have been hardest hit by the spiralling cost of food and fuel – they must feel very let down by the Government.”