I don't know what Alistair Darling expected the country to think of his latest and last Budget called 'Securing the recovery'.
'Fiddling while Rome burns', would be far more apt. There is very little to be positive about as this budget has the unfortunate effect of ensuring that there will be a second budget this year whoever is running the country after the election.
This budget conceals more than illuminates. Basic tax allowances are not going up this year, inflation will increase the effect of this and make the lowest paid bear the brunt of these hidden tax increases. Already suffering badly, more pain is to be heaped on them in the form of taxes on the 'naughty' things like alcohol and tobacco. Because of the increases in duty on fuel, food and basics will get more expensive and impact disproportionately on the less well off.
National Insurance, an income tax on working people by another name, is also unchanged. This is a disgraceful missed opportunity to apply the tax system with a degree of social justice for all, not just for the better off!
We are all aware that the economic climate now is poorly placed to provide the support and assistance that Rotherham will need if is to prosper in the future.
There are some encouraging signs, at least at the high-tech end of engineering. The town may be able to look forward to the benefits that these developments will bring to the local economy.
Only if the economy avoids a 'double dip' recession will this go ahead as planned.
We need good jobs, highly skilled with a long term future.
Rotherham will need advocates at all levels.
I am prepared to be your voice where it matters!
Rotherham's own Independent.