9:30am Tuesday 16th April 2013
MIDDLEWICH'S MP has called on the Government to do more to help married couples.
Sparking in Parliament about the Budge, Fiona Bruce said the Coalition had still not honoured a Conservative pledge of tax allowances for married couples where one partner stays at home.
"Many people are genuinely bemused that such an important commitment should remain completely untouched well into the second half of this Parliament," she said.
"They are increasingly bemused by the announcement of the introduction of tax-free childcare worth up to £1,200 every year for children aged up to 12, but obtainable only by either single parents working or couples where both partners work."
Mrs Bruce went on to quote Prime Minister David Cameron who described tax-free childcare as a 'boost direct to the pockets of hard-working families'.
"Do families with one parent who stays at home not work hard too?" she said.
"That has not sent out a positive message to mothers and fathers who stay and home and commit themselves to parenting; it does not say to them, as I think we should, 'We value you'."
Earlier in her speech Mrs Bruce had welcomed aspects of the Budget on behalf of nearly 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses in her constituency.
She highlighted the efforts of Dutton Contractors in Middlewich where she recently opened two warehouses.
The family business, which sells and transports construction materials, was set up in 1974 and now employs 80 people.
Mrs Bruce said: "The decision in the Budget to further stop Labour's planned fuel rises is worth £7 to every family each time they fill up a family car, but it is worth considerably more to companies such as Dutton Contractors, which has a fleet of vehicles, so it very much welcomes the Budget."
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