In the news this week, Chancellor Gordon Brown delivered his tenth (and according to some Westminster predictions) final budget on Wednesday. As Tony Blair faces increasing calls to step down, Gordon Brown is hotly tipped to succeed him as the next Labour Prime Minister.
Pensioners’ groups were incensed as despite soaring fuel bills, there was no thought for the elderly whatsoever, with the scrapping of their £200 Council Tax rebate and no increase in pensioners' Winter Fuel payments. The major emphasis was on increased spending in schools, with the Chancellor describing his latest budget as “a Budget for Britain's future to secure fairness for each child by investing in every child".
But the Chancellor has made no provision for the cash-strapped National Health Service (NHS) in his budget proposals, claiming in a radio interview that there is a lot of money going into the NHS already and it is up to the NHS trusts to sort out their financial problems so that the public have value for money. Not sure how they’re going to do that, with cuts being made right, left and centre. The whole system just seems to be a shambles. But there we are. With NHS cuts taking place and hospitals being closed up and down the country, critics argue that the reason these cuts are being made is due to Gordon Brown’s failure to reform the NHS. Instead he has just abandoned it.
A package of “green” measures was also unveiled by Mr Brown, with increases in road tax for “4 x 4’s” and other gas guzzling vehicles.