Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brown fudge

Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, and one of the most conservative of Labour members, has as a result of a concession by the Chancellor, withdrawn his amendment to the Finance Bill 2008. This would have provided compensation for the estimated five million people who are worse off as a result of Gordon Brown's budget. It remains to be seen how effective the promised compensation deal is.

It comes after a week of fudges. Yvette Cooper announced a review into poverty.

Nick Clegg commented: “After weeks of pressure from all sides, all this tired Government has been able to come up with is yet another review.

“The Treasury shouldn’t need to ‘consult stakeholders’ to work out the impact of doubling the rate of income tax for people on low incomes."

Then there is today's Ofgem Fuel Poverty Summit. Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Steve Webb was scathing:

“The level of fuel poverty in this country is a scandal, with over four million households struggling to meet the soaring cost of energy. The last thing they need is another talking shop.

“The Government must put fuel poverty at the top of its agenda and back
that up by boosting investment in fuel efficiency measures."

Yesterday, we also learned that the Government will delay the release of child poverty figures until June, well after the local elections. They are expected to show a further widening of the wealth gap.
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