Ministers ‘out of touch’ with the financially-stretched

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MATURE student and married mother-of-two Sian Wheal was underwhelmed by the Budget, saying it offered little for financially-stretched families.

After inflation is taken into account, she expects her family will be better off by a little over £100 a year but this will be clawed back by rising petrol costs.

“I don’t think (this Budget) is going to make any difference to us,” said Mrs Wheal, 30, who lives with husband Tim, 36, and their two children in North Yorkshire.

The couple run two cars, spending over £600 a month on petrol and train fares, and £800 a month on childcare.

Mr Wheal works in Manchester as a tax specialist and Mrs Wheal studies politics, philosophy and economics at Lancaster University.

They have a mortgage on a two-bed house and say that money is tight because of the high costs of fuel and childcare.

They would be better off financially if she stayed at home, she said.

“I think welfare needs to be overhauled. If I quit uni and stay at home we would be better off – that’s wrong. There should not be a disincentive to work.”

Government spending on the Transpennine rail route could push up fares, she believes.

“I expect there will be delays, disruption and increased fares as people pay more for nice new trains.”

She said the Government was “out of touch”, adding: “There is nothing in it that will have a big impact on normal people. They are giving with one hand and taking away with the other.”