Pubs, potholes and 'missed opportunities' - Shropshire MP hits back at Budget

MP Helen Morgan has expressed concerns that the Budget is a "missed opportunity" for Shropshire and rural Britain.

MP Helen Morgan
MP Helen Morgan

The North Shropshire Liberal Democrat MP highlighted the impact of the measures on her constituency in a speech in the Commons.

Speaking in the final day of the Budget debate, the MP said the “entire national potholes budget would probably not be enough to repair the badly neglected roads of Shropshire” as she described the Budget as “taking with one hand and giving away with another”.

Mrs Morgan said there was a the lack of support for small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat, including Shropshire's pubs.

“Duty on draught beer has been cut, and that is obviously welcome for the pubs that sit at the heart of the communities in our towns and villages, but many small businesses were locked into gas and electricity contracts last year in a period of soaring prices as a result of the terrible invasion of Ukraine," she said.

"Just this morning, I was contacted by a popular village pub to say that it was facing closure, despite always being too busy to fit me in for a table. It is facing a four-fold increase in its energy costs, but this Budget has cut the support that it is going to be offered, even while wholesale prices fall and it costs the Government"

Speaking in the final day of the Budget debate, Mrs Morgan said: “Rural businesses in North Shropshire have told me that the astronomical cost of energy means that they are struggling to stay afloat, not turning a comfortable profit or generating cash to invest.”

Mrs Morgan, the Lib Dem spokesperson for Levelling Up, also called on the Government to invest in infrastructure in places where it is most needed, rather than forcing councils to bid for limited Levelling Up funding.

She said: "Instead of allocating Levelling Up funding on the basis of need, councils will once again be forced to spend thousands in consultant and officer time, competing against each other for small pots of money which, ultimately, they may not win."

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