BUDGET: Not the time to honour pledge

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Does Chancellor Philip Hammond not know that two wrongs do not make a right?

The first was promising not to increase National Insurance contributions in the manifesto, and the second, the u-turn on the increase in contributions by self-employed workers, which he claimed to be a matter of fairness.

Now is not the time to honour a ridiculous pledge when the increasing costs of the NHS and essential services are overloading the budget.

We are all in this together and must all contribute as equally as possible to help reduce the cost of Government borrowing. It is taking a long time and several Tory austerity budgets to repair the damage done in 13 years of Labour.

The Chancellor did not have to use the word Brexit to indicate the importance of investing in technology and industrial training to enable the country to sell a greater range of British-made products to the world, as it did before concentrating on selling only to Europe.

We should forget about the single market, the WTO, or other political trade agreements because if trades unions play fair, the quality and value will enable Britain to sell to even the most competitive markets of the world.

Norman Bateman

Low Espley