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Spring Statement ‘Brimmed With Good News’ Says Guildford’s MP But a ‘Missed Opportunity’ Say Lib Dems

Published on: 25 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 26 Mar, 2022

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak making his Spring Statement on Wednesday Image Parliament.UK

By Martin Giles

Guildford’s Conservative MP Angela Richardson has hailed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s “Spring Statement”, made on Wednesday (March 23), saying it “…brimmed with good news on lowering the tax burden and helping families across Britain, including Guildford and Cranleigh with the cost of living”.

But local Liberal democrats say: “Families across Guildford and Cranleigh will pay the price for Chancellor’s failure and that ” the statement is a “massive missed opportunity” to help families in Guildford.

And the chair of Guildford Labour joined in, saying: “The people’s ‘favourite billionaire’, Rishi Sunak, has failed the worst off in society again…”.

Angela Richardson MP

Referring to the statement, Ms Richardson was enthusiastic. She said: “We saw the chancellor address the issue of fuel prices with a cut and freeze of fuel duty, an increase to the Living Wage of £1,000 a year, a freezing of the Licence Fee and a doubling of the Household Support Fund to a massive £1billion.

“Importantly to people living in Guildford, the chancellor also announced a VAT cut on energy-saving materials, so a green lifestyle is becoming more affordable to a great number of people – and the energy savings that go with it. Solar panels, insulation and heat pumps are all zero-rated for VAT for the next five years and I warmly welcome that.

“People want proper, sustainable, long-term financial planning – not gimmicks – and that is what the government is providing.”

The Lib Dems say they would support the economy by boosting spending on local high streets and that their proposals would also keep inflation down by making the prices of everyday items lower than they would have been.

Zöe Franklin

Their prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Zöe Franklin, said: “People across our community were looking to Rishi Sunak for a helping hand in facing this once-in-a-generation cost of living crisis. Eye-watering price hikes are leaving many people in Guildford and Cranleigh struggling to make ends meet.


“This was crunch time for the chancellor and the Conservatives, and they haven’t stepped up to the mark. It’s families in Cranleigh and Guildford who they have clobbered with unfair tax hikes who will pay the price for this massive missed opportunity.

“Rishi Sunak should stop putting his pride over people, scrap his punishing tax hikes, and back Liberal Democrat calls for an emergency cut to VAT. This would put £19,620,000 back into the pockets of 32,700 people in our area – £600 for each of them – and support our local shops, cafes and restaurants.”

Brian Creese

And local Labour chair Brian Creese was also “underwhelmed”. He said: “The people’s ‘favourite billionaire’, Rishi Sunak, has failed the worst off in society again, ensuring that the poorest and those on benefits get the least support from the government.

“The silence on public sector pay suggests that the only help our nurses and care workers can expect was that clapping on a Thursday night; more and more will now find themselves on benefits as the cost of living crisis grips and their pay falls behind.

And then he raised a local budgetary issue: “But it is not just the Tories who fail to understand who needs most help. Our Lib Dem / R4GV borough council has just agreed to cut funding for Citizens Advice, the most direct way of helping those in Guildford who are most in need.

“The Conservatives nationally and Lib Dems locally are both failing to support the most vulnerable in our society. So much for levelling up.”

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Responses to Spring Statement ‘Brimmed With Good News’ Says Guildford’s MP But a ‘Missed Opportunity’ Say Lib Dems

  1. Peta Malthouse Reply

    March 25, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Hasn’t anyone else noticed the massive hike in fuel prices (for diesel was £1.25 to yesterday £1.82) which has given the chancellor an extra 10p per litre sold? So thanks and no thanks.

    The extra fiscal revenue is mirrored across the whole spectrum of goods on which vat is paid: five per cent on domestic energy; 20 per cent on industrial; 20 per cent on non-food items. Inflation is a moneymaker for our Rishi Sunak.

    I thought his statement was cynical. It only partly removed an increase in National Insurance payments that none can afford and removed VAT on items most cannot even contemplate purchasing.

    Worse, I believe it will be inflationary. Businesses cannot mop up these extra costs and these subsequent price rises will push inflation up. The borough council have been allowed to increase tax by two per cent and as Cllr Maddy Redpath’s opinion piece (We Don’t Like Making Cuts – It Wasn’t What We Were Elected To Do) shows they have been pushed into a corner, having to pay increased NI rates and pay increases agreed by the government at a national level can’t leave them with much change.

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