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Lib Dem Slams Budget – But It’s ‘Great News’ Says Guildford’s MP

Published on: 17 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 20 Mar, 2023

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt making his budget statement on Wednesday. He is also the MP for the neighbouring Surrey SW constituency.

By Martin Giles

Guildford’s Liberal Democrats have blasted Wednesday’s Conservative budget saying they have failed to fix their own financial mess.

But Angela Richardson, Guildford’s Conservative MP, unsurprisingly, had a different view. She said the Chancellor’s Budget on Wednesday (March 15): “was great news for many families in Guildford, focusing as it did on helping households through the energy price rises, freezing fuel duty on the family car, paving the way to retain more NHS doctors and extending 30 hours of free childcare to every child over the age of nine months with working parents by September 2025 .

The Lib Dems, in a press release, say they believe that the UK is facing the worst fall in living standards “since records began” and that the Government’s own watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, says living standards are expected to fall by 6 per cent this year and next year, as inflation continues to outstrip growth. That’s the biggest two-year fall since records began in 1956.

Zoe Franklin

Zoe Franklin the Lib Dems prospective Parliamentary candidate for Guildford said: “As I’m out speaking to people in Guildford every week, the main issues that they want to discuss are their concerns and fears about the cost of living crisis. They want real help on energy bills, the rising price of food and rent and mortgage costs.

“They also tell me how worried they are about the NHS, that they want to be able to get appointments with their GP, to know an ambulance will turn up when it’s needed and not to be waiting months or years for surgery.

“There was nothing in this budget to address any of these problems. Nothing to address the pay crisis facing nurses, doctors, teachers and other valued public sector workers.

“Even the Chancellor’s u-turn on the energy price guarantee doesn’t address the problems of all those struggling to pay their bills. It delays the rise in bills we were expecting in April, but comes as the energy bill support payment ends, that’s another £67 more a month we’ll have to find.

Angela Richardson in the House of Commons on Wednesday

Angela Richardson countered: “It was also a budget that focused on business – but in a down-to-earth way that looks to provide opportunities for job creation for everyone, not simply favouring big business. Our local economy in Guildford relies on skilled and unskilled jobs as well as a growing and significant hi-tech sector, in which the Chancellor also announced further investment.

“On the cost of living, the Chancellor is freezing the Energy Price Guarantee, ending premiums on pre-payment meters that are disproportionately used by people on lesser means, as well as freezing duty on fuel, a pint and ensuring that leisure centre swimming pools have support to keep costs down.  

“Tackling inflation, to bring the cost of living down, is also a key priority and one that all the indicators are showing the Chancellor is having success in doing. We have avoided recession this year and the economy is back in growth. His response to the shocks of Covid, war in Ukraine and the resulting energy prices pressure, has been entirely correct.”

“This was a budget focusing not just on tackling problems but on preparing to speed the growth of a quickly-recovering economy and provide prosperity across Guildford and our villages.”

Brian Creese

Brian Creese, Guildford Labour Chair was critical of the Lib Dem press release and pooh-pooed the Lib Dem candidate’s claim to be in touch with local feelings, commenting: “Ms Franklin is simply passing on a central office communication with no local input or insight whatsoever.

“In Westminster the 12 Lib Dem MPs have no power, no authority and no influence to actually change this complacent Tory budget. Only a Labour government is going to achieve the real change  we need – unless the Lib Dems decide to support the Tories again next time?”


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Responses to Lib Dem Slams Budget – But It’s ‘Great News’ Says Guildford’s MP

  1. George Potter Reply

    March 17, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    Isn’t it remarkable how the only thing Guildford Labour seems interested in doing is attacking the Liberal Democrats whilst giving the Conservatives a free pass?

    What actually is the point of Guildford Labour these days anyway? It certainly doesn’t seem to be to advocate for progressive policies or oppose the Conservatives. They’ve abdicated that responsibility to the Lib Dems and to others.

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    March 19, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    What do we call a ‘drop’ in living standards?

    I have a bath, shower, central heating, two indoor toilets, TV, washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge-freezer, a choice of food fit for a five-star restaurant from the local shops, food on the table, a personal method of motorised transport, communication devices in triplicate, and a new elbow, courtesy of the National Health. As for cloths multiple changes and multiple pairs of shoes and occasional trips to the theatre….

    I would say I have over my many years had constant improvement of my living standards starting from 1 cold tap, outside toilet, gas boiling tub for the washing and a tin bath, gran next door had a black and white 12 inch tv and a wired telephone next door, no motorised transport, no central heating, one pair of shoes, one pair of trousers. a shirt and tie. The local cinema if we wanted to walk three miles to it.

    I think we in Guildford should consider ourselves very lucky and very privilidged to live in the 2020’s not many would like to return to the 1960s and 70’s. While all 20 year olds are like all 20 year olds over the years want more than they can afford and 30 year olds jealious of the 40 year olds etc etc..

    We should cherrish what we have share when we can and get on with our lives for money is not everything when you have friends..

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