Mixed reaction to statement

Angus MP Mike Weir has described Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement as mixed news for Scotland and the Angus economy.

He explained: “The grim news from the announcement is that the current austerity measures will continue for years to come, with more cuts on the way.

“The announcement of new capital funding is welcome, it is something that the Scottish Government has been seeking for some considerable time and if it had been done earlier would have done more for the economy than al all the chancellor’s austerity measures.

Better late than never, however.

“The amount available to Scotland is only around half of what is needed, but should allow the Scottish Government to embark on some of these much needed projects.

“The announcement that benefit rates will rise at much less than the rate of inflation is much less good news.

“Although the present UK government has long demonised those in receipt of benefits the truth, as pointed out in a report front the Resolution Foundation, is that three out of five who will be affected by this are in fact in work.”

“This freeze will hit many families who are already struggling very hard indeed.”

However, Mr Weir welcomed the news that the planned 3p rise in fuel duty is set to be scrapped.

He added: “The scrapping of this planned tax hike is positive news and is the culmination of a hard fought campaign which has won support from a variety of different sectors.

“In rural communities such as Angus high fuel prices have a particularly heavy impact as prices are usually both even higher than urban areas and are unavoidable for households who simply do not have the option of using more public transport.”