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Budget Day for Cornwall

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3:50pm 20th March 2013
(Updated 3:50pm 20th March 2013)

A Bude mum has told Pirate FM she is waiting three years to have more kids because of soaring childcare costs.

On budget day calls for more help for Cornish parents, drivers and drinkers are answered.

The government has announced working parents will be able to get back £1200 a year, but only after the next election.

Kirsten Hilton can only afford to stay on maternity leave for eight months. She said: "Now I'm down to statutory only pay, it's definitely got more tough. I've got to go back to work in a few months purely because of that. Obviously we've got the upcoming childcare fees.

"If there wasn't such a cost I'd definitely be having a second child quicker.

"Now I'm down to a quarter of my wages. Out of myself and my husband, I bring in more money. So it makes it really difficult. I've got to go back to work when she's eight months. It's sad I can't afford to take a year."

The 3p rise in fuel duty has been scrapped altogether.

Robin Hepbert runs a taxi company in Bude. His fuel bill is around £4,000 a month: "It wouldn't hurt to go further and start paying back some of the rises and we've missed out on over the last few years. Fuel has just gone up and up and up and it affects everyone - not just business owners, but personally as well.

"My fuel bill continues to escalate. It's quite tricky at the moment."

A 6p rise in beer duty has also been scrapped and from Sunday beer duty will fall by a penny. However, wine and spirits will rise. Christopher Pearce runs the New Inn at Kilkhampton and has seen too many Cornish pubs close.

He said: "All the things, the post office, the shops and the pub, all go together and they all make up the village life. And of course it's very sad to see, when a pub is struggling or shuts, as much as it is the post office.

"The supermarkets are selling beer cheaper than ever. People buy a case of beer and they stay at home and drink it. I can't blame anybody for doing that, I mean everybody's got their means they've got to live within."

Elsewhere Cornish families are going to get more help to get on the housing ladder with a new "Help to Buy" scheme that includes loans to help them afford a deposit.  

From next year pensioners will get a flat rate of £144 a week and there will also be a £72,000 cap on care costs.

We will also get to keep more of our pay packets. The £10,000 tax threshold will be brought in next year.

Gaynor North runs a shoe shop in Bude and says this summer is still going to be tough: "Definitely the last year I've noticed less people with disposable income. Especially when they come on holiday. So we only have certain months of the year where we do have a lot more footfall and if we don't get enough to cover us then a winter period is much harder."

Employers will get more help with the cost of taking on staff in a bid to boost employment. Victoria is studying at Falmouth and agrees help is needed: "Out of everyone who graduated last year, I don't know of anyone who didn't come back to do masters who now has a job, a job that they wanted to do. So, I'm a bit worried."

The Chancellor has admitted that recovery is taking longer than expected.

There will be another £2.5 billion of cuts. Public sector workers are angry pay rises have been capped at 1% again.

George Eustice, Tory MP for Camborne and Redruth, said: "There isn't much scope to give generous tax giveaways or anything like that, because there isn't a lot of money around in the system, let's face it. But there are some things we can do. I would like to see fuel duty frozen. And I'd like to see these measures to help people with the cost of living and to help them get through difficult times."

 

 

3:50pm 20th March 2013

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