We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

MP welcomes support for Cumbrians in budget

March 20, 2013 2:20 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed announcements in today's budget including the decision to scrap the planned fuel duty increase that will support residents across Cumbria.

Today's budget also saw announcements that will benefit local people in Cumbria including plans to scrap the increase in fuel duty in the autumn, new compensation for Equitable life members and an end to the unfair and damaging beer duty escalator.

Last year, Tim was one of more than 80 MPs who signed a motion calling on the Government to cut fuel duty, which places an unfair burden particularly on those in rural areas who rely on their cars much more than those in urban areas.

The plans to introduced compensation of £5,000 for pre-1992 Equitable Life annuitants come following years of campaigning by the Equitable Market Action Group (EMAG), of which Tim is a leading member. Until now, pensioners who bought policies before 1992 have received no compensation whatsoever. The promise of £5,000 compensation plus an additional £5,000 for those on pension credits is long over due.

As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group which has been campaigning to support the fight to save local community pubs. The beer duty escalator is an increase in tax on beer by 2% above the rate of inflation introduced in 2008 and in place until 2014/15. As a result, tax on beer has gone up by over 40% since 2008. The beer duty escalator has proven damaging to brewers across the country and led to increases in beer prices and while these price increases are absorbed by the supermarkets, however, pubs are simply unable to do this. The end of this escalator will help to protect the future of pubs which play such a vital role in our communities.

Commenting after the Budget was announced Tim said: "In rural areas cars are not a luxury they are a necessity and increasing fuel duty at this time would be destructive for growth, which we need in our economy now more than ever. I am also delighted that the Chancellor has listened to our campaign and heard the voices of those living in rural communities across the country and scrapped this harmful increase.

"Today's announcement of compensation or the pre-1992 Equitable Life annuitants is a huge win. I supported the Equitable Life (Payments) Act in 2010, because I thought it was a significant step forward and a considerably better proposal than that put forward by the previous Labour Government, but until now this huge group of over 10,000 has been neglected.

"I'm incredibly proud that thanks to our continuous battle these policy holders will be compensated, although it must be acknowledged that many of those who were deserving of compensation are no longer with us.

"The end of the beer duty escalator and the 1p cut in duty will also make an important impact on local communities. The beer duty escalator massively favours big supermarkets over smaller local pubs and breweries. Pubs provide an essential hub for rural communities across the South Lakes and yet the threat posed by the beer duty escalator could see many of them unnecessarily closed down. By scrapping the beer duty escalator, we can really help to make local pubs successful community assets. "