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Budget response

UKIP’s Treasury Spokesman Jonathan Arnott has reacted to ‘a budget of tinkering and gimmicks’, which fails to deal with the real issues underpinning the British economy and fails to plan to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Brexit.Jonathan Arnott said “By failing to plan for Brexit, he plans to fail.

This is a Budget one of tinkering and gimmicks, hammering those who work hard to develop their future and our economy, without dealing with the real issues of planning for Brexit and beyond. To establish ours as a confident, prosperous, optimistic and secure nation post-Brexit takes greater leadership than was on display this afternoon in the House.

“In raising taxes on diesel cars this government is punishing drivers for listening to them. He’s done nothing for hard-working families, trying to pass off the planned increase in the personal tax allowance as something new. But thankfully he’s done the necessary U-turn on universal credit, a policy which wasn’t thought through and was targeting genuine people.”

“He’s talked about housebuilding and affordability, with a whopping £44 billion of taxpayers’ money being promised over 5 years – that’s the equivalent of at least 2p in the pound on Income Tax. This is excessive and it’s not being spent well. We answered the housebuilding question in our General Election Manifesto and showed exactly how we can build enough affordable homes, helping young people to get on the housing ladder and using brownfield sites not greenbelt land. I suggest the Chancellor would do well to read it. Building hundreds of thousands of new, eco-friendly modular houses so tnat young people are able to get their first step on the housing ladder at cost price (with appropriate restrictions on sales to help future generations) would make a massive and rapid difference. However, controlling immigration is still important to ensure that demand is reasonable.

“There was nothing to generate work in areas with plenty of boarded-up houses, nothing to bring jobs back to deprived areas and nothing to enable that housing pool to be opened up. The forgotten and abandoned working classes remain forgotten and abandoned.

“On housing, charging landlords extra for empty properties will unfairly hit landlords who do not qualify for exemptions whilst carrying out essential maintenance. The financial response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy was needed immediately afterwards, not months later with this Budget. It may or may not be too little, but it is certainly too late.

“Most of all, this Budget is one of missed opportunities. If the Chancellor truly cared about our national security, would he not have provided specific funds to reverse cuts to our police, our Border Force and our Armed Forces?

If the Chancellor truly wanted to prepare for Brexit, would he not now be announcing help for British companies through a Presumption of Buying British to replace the EU Procurement Directive, and by ensuring that we procure from British companies wherever it makes sense?”

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Hammond’s gaffe insults struggling families

Following Philip Hammond’s gaffe saying there are no unemployed people, local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has hit back.

“He should try telling young people and the unemployed in my constituency that there are no unemployed people”, said Mr Arnott, the Party’s Treasury spokesman.

“The Chancellor isn’t exactly a newcomer to politics – he must have known the significance of his words, but didn’t immediately correct them in any way. It’s typical of the arrogance of a Conservative Party which claims credit for job creation following the EU referendum – when in fact, a more competitive pound is a bigger reason for the recent fall in unemployment.

“I meet people all the time who genuinely struggle to find employment; it’s Philip Hammond’s job to help them not insult them.

“If he can’t understand the huge difficulties that persist for people in coastal communities, for young people struggling to get on the career ladder, or for people across huge swathes of the North and Midlands ravaged by the decades-long decline in our manufacturing, then quite frankly he’s in the wrong job. After a gaffe like that, no matter what he says in the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, he won’t be trusted.”

“We desperately need a Budget that will support small business growth, and a Brexit that will allow us to regain control over our borders and our fisheries. If we want to be a global leader post-Brexit, we need to roll up our national sleeves and make our nation truly competitive in the long run,” said Mr Arnott.

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It is totally wrong that an unelected police officer is arbitrarily choosing not to enforce a law which carries a technical maximum sentence of life in prison

A furious MEP is calling for Mike Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Police, to be sacked for introducing a scheme to ‘let off’ Class A street dealers.

“It is totally wrong that an unelected police officer is arbitrarily choosing not to enforce a law which carries a technical maximum sentence of life in prison,” said Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East.

“Heroin dealers should not, especially as a matter of policy, escape going to court. His new scheme will just let off those who deal in heroin and cocaine –  which is dealing in death.

“We all know what will happen – there will be ‘career’ dealers who get away without prosecution because when they’re caught, they happen to have a lesser amount on them. They will work the system.

“I’ve known, and worked to help, people whose lives have been ruined by heroin addiction. It’s not just that this decision sends out completely the wrong message. It’s not just that this could result in more people dying. It’s also that we have a top police officer in my constituency who is clearly refusing to enforce the law.

“Mike Barton is giving the green light to criminals. There’s one way to send out a much better message to criminals: he should be sacked,” said Mr Arnott.

The latest claims from Michael Barnier sound rather petulant to me 

Dear Editor,

There clearly is no tactic the EU will not use to try to sabotage our country’s Brexit.

The latest is a claim by their chief negotiator Michael Barnier that if the negotiations fail it will be harder to travel with pets from the UK to the EU.

It sounds rather petulant to me but highlights that they are willing to use any opportunity to try to threaten and frighten the British public. They know we are a nation of animal lovers so obviously see this as a means to scare those who travel abroad with their pets.

The EU is desperate for Brexit to fail and for us to remain tied to their apron strings because they need our money to keep their project afloat. It is no wonder they keep coming up with pie-in-the-sky divorce settlement figures and any scaremongering device they can invent.

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Arnott MEP

Research showing that rail transport in London receives six times as much funding as that in the North East is depressing reading.

Dear Editor,

Research showing that rail transport in London receives six times as much funding as that in the North East is depressing reading.

The government keeps talking about the Northern Powerhouse and investing billions of pounds across the North of England but meanwhile businesses in this region continue to suffer from poor transport links.

I have long argued that we need real action and not just hot air and yet again figures reveal that the promises are not being translated into reality.

The potential for growth in the North East is tremendous with the skills, enthusiasm and sheer hard work ethic – but we are still being let down by the powers that be. And it is not good enough.

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UK citizens are the EU’s Magic Money Tree

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott  has pointed out that last year the UK paid the European Union £159 million per week more than it received back.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the total ‘membership fee’ was £363 million per week, but the net figure comes after taking into account our rebate and EU funding.

This means that, between the date of the referendum and leaving the EU in March 2019, the British taxpayer will have forked out – net – an incredible £22.8 billion to the European Union.

UKIP’s Treasury spokesman Jonathan Arnott MEP said: “To put these figures into context, the net membership fee alone is the equivalent of over two pence in the pound on income tax.

“This isn’t what people thought they were voting for in the EU referendum. We voted to end British cash going to the European Union, not for the tap to keep flowing. It truly beggars belief that even these eye-watering amounts of money aren’t giving Theresa May pause to think – she’s still agreeing to hand many billions more over to the EU in a so-called ‘divorce bill’, which hasn’t the slightest legal basis.

“British politicians often pretend they have a magic money tree, but the European Union actually has one. It’s called the British taxpayer.

“In a surprisingly political move by the Office for National Statistics, the figures for 2016 have been calculated differently to all previous years – removing the rebate, in an apparent bid to undermine figures used by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign,” he added.