Budget reaction: ‘Failing business’ - council leader.

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THE Labour leader of South Tyneside Council has accused George Osborne’s latest Budget of ‘failing business’.

Coun Iain Malcolm also lambasted the chancellor for cutting the top rate of tax.

And he reiterated his concern at Government plans to localise public sector pay deals – a move which could lead to thousands of borough workers losing out.

He said: “I am concerned local government is being required to shoulder an unfair burden, and I fear there is little to cheer for areas like South Tyneside. The council will lose up to £7m due to the localisation of the business rates.

“The budget doesn’t address the skills gap we have in this region. It offers nothing to train our young people in the skills necessary for business to flourish and succeed and it does nothing for our pensioners.

“I am concerned at attempts to create a post code pay scale in the public sector, is not about fairness, but all about seeking to drive down the salaries of employees in the public sector.”