Budget 2021: Missed opportunities for NHS and green economy concern Leeds couple

The chancellor missed a number of opportunities in his Budget to make a difference  in key areas including the NHS and the green economy, according to a Leeds couple.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:32 pm
Martin and Fiona Hughes pictured outside their home at Horsforth. Photo: Simon Hulme

Martin Hughes, a semi retired director of a house maintenance and renovation company and his wife Fiona, a semi-retired computer consultant, have been giving their reactions to today's (March 3) budget.

Mr Hughes, 64, who is chairman Horsforth Civic Society and a former Horsforth town councillor, said he found the content of the budget "encouraging" but said he agreed with opposition leader Keir Starmer that there were "so many missed opportunities."

Mr Hughes, who is also chairman of Newlay Conservation Society, said: "He didn't really talk about the NHS at all and I feel it's massively behind on dealing with its basic caseload.

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Martin and Fiona Hughes pictured outside their home at Horsforth. Photo: Simon Hulme

"The result is that without extra resources these enormous waiting queues will not decline quickly.

"The catch-up the NHS has to do is huge and I didn't hear about any resources going into that.

"He missed the opportunity to create jobs, business and opportunities in the green environment.

Fiona Hughes, 65, said: thought it was a fairly typical business budget as you would expect from a Tory Chancellor.

"Good for business and, I hope, good for Covid recovery.

"I'm a little worried about stoking up the housing market with mortgage guarantees.

"There's a scheme to support 95 per cent mortgages, which has been done in the past and all it did was increase house prices.

"He's doing a scheme to support people who can only afford a five per cent deposit on their mortgage. Last time it just ended up in a boom to the house price market.

"What we need is more affordable housing being built. and there was nothing in particular that I saw today that would do that.

"I think there should have been more investment in green technology.

"They have to make a big push on green issues if you are going to do anything about global warming and I still don't think they're doing enough."