Press Release

Aberavon MP welcomes Alistair Darling's first Budget

13th March 2008

Dr Hywel Francis MP for Aberavon welcomes a 'careful' Budget that focuses on tackling child poverty and climate change and providing extra help for pensioners. The Budget aims, he said, to achieve stability and opportunity and so build a strong, sustainable future in the face of global uncertainty'.

Dr Hywel Francis said

"This is very much a 'Green Budget'. It brings forward proposals to reward drivers of the cleanest cars and funding for the Green Homes Service to reduce carbon omissions, waste and water consumption. The Chancellor's announcement to postpone the increase in fuel duty until 1st October will be a relief to local haulage companies who spoke to me recently about their concerns."

"The announcements regarding child poverty in Wales were also important with increases in Child Benefit providing extra support for 360,000 Welsh families."

"The good news for pensioners in Wales means that 480,000 households will benefit from the additional one-off payment of £100 to the winter fuel allowance for the over 80s and £50 for the over 60s."

Dr Francis added

"The national press concentrate on taxes on alcohol, tobacco and fuel. These are of course important. However, we should not lose sight of the key objectives of maintaining a sound economy at a time of international instability as well as striving for fairness especially for hard working families and pensioners. This year's budget is consistent with all the Labour budgets since 1979 of achieving our long-term objectives of fairness and enterprise based on a sound economy."

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