With a newborn baby and a 14-month-old son to support on an annual income of less than £20,000, police community support officer Laurence Ridge, 21, was hoping for better news in the budget.
“I think the decision to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers is reasonable but he should have announced a bigger pay rise for public sector workers – the 1% we get is miniscule compared with inflation. Building 300,000 affordable homes is nothing, spread out across the country. Where are they all?”
Laurence has been the sole breadwinner for his family ever since his partner, Caitlin, 19, was made redundant last year. The couple rent a terraced house in Lancashire with their son, Lucius, and three-week-old daughter, Emmeline, and are entitled to child tax credit and child benefit. “We’re one of those ‘just about managing’ families the government keeps saying they want to help – but the chancellor is not fussed about us. If he did, he would have cut VAT, which hurts poorer people the most.”