Budget 2014: York reacts to measures for "makers, doers and savers"
AN UNDERWHELMED reaction to the 2014 Budget has been expressed in York with pension perks and beer duty cuts welcomed alongside disappointment over a lack of hard hitting economic boosts.
The Chancellor today revealed his Budget, which he said was put together for the "makers, the doers and the savers" of Britain.
Breaks for pensioners featured heavily with a number of new measures including the removal of tax restrictions to access pensions, and the increasing of total lump sums that pensioners can withdraw to £30,000.
Sally Hutchinson, chief officer of Age UK York said: "A lot of what has been outlined is aimed at those who have money.
"Absolutely I welcome any changes that would benefit older people with regard to levels of tax and more flexability and access to pension funds.
"However there are many older people who are still having to wait longer for a state pension and many women who will not have been able to pay into a private pension.
"It appears at first glance that older people who have funds will have more flexability and a bit more cash but my main concern, working in Age UK is that we are currently innundated with request from people to get help to access to benefits and to manage their income on a day to day basis. Their needs have not been met."
The Chancellor confirmed that a planned fuel duty rise in September will be scrapped, while toboacco duty will rise two per cent above inflation.
The pub industry has welcomed a 1p cut in beer, while duty on spirits and cider has been frozen.
Martin Caffrey, operations director at Federation Of Licensed Victuallers Associations, which is based at The Raylor Centre, in James Street, York, said: "This is good for the public and good for the industry. It will preserve around 7,000 jobs, particularly for younger people that work in bars.
"However wine duty will still increase in line with inflation. That will be between 5p and 8p onto a glass of wine across the bar.
"It's good to see that the Chancellor appreciates what we as an industry have been putting forward.
"However, while there is a 1p cut on beer duty it comes at a time when the industry has been given a 3p rise in product cost from the brewers, so we probably won't actually see a drop in price at the bar."
Individuals earning less than £100,000 a year will see tax free earnings rise to £10,500, while around 1.9 million parents will be eligible for a new system of 20 per cent off child care tax breaks.
However the Welfare Budget is to be capped, rising inline with inflation until 2018.
Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said: "This is a Budget for the people who already have, not for the people who need to benefit most from the return to growth.
"It is a lost opportunity for the 13 million people in poverty who need active intervention to tackle the structural barriers that keep them in poverty.
"People on low incomes are unlikely to see the welcome benefits of growth unless there is targeted help with household and housing costs, with child care and with the nature of jobs and training. The expense and inefficiency of high levels of poverty continue to put a drag on growth.”
The new of funds totalling £20 million for urgent cathedral repairs have been welcomed.
The Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York, said: "The news from the Chancellor of financial support for repairs to cathedrals is a great relief. York Minster needs to raise £ 2.5m each year for ongoing repairs to stone and glass and we will be working with the Church nationally to bid for support for our next project, repairs to the south side of the Minster and in particular the Camera Cantorum.”
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