The Chancellor George Osborne insists his budget today is one that will reward work and help low and middle earners in the Midlands. The personal allowance for basic rate tax payers will go up to £9,205 next year. Solihull liberal democrat MP Lorely Burt says in the West Midlands it will mean 75,000 people will no longer have to pay tax at all. A further 1.9 million will be better off by £220 a year.

But Labour’s Erdington MP Jack Dromey is unimpressed. He says the decision to cut higher rate tax from 50p to 45p is an insult to struggling families in Birmingham earning £20,000 .

Dave Prentice General Secretary of Unison says the measures announced today will not create much needed manufacturing jobs in the Midlands because nothing has been done to stimulate demand. Unemployment is at a 17 year high and young people cannot find their first job.

Birmingham is to benefit from one of the measures confirmed today. Extra money will be invested in superfast broadband. The Chancellor said it would enhance business growth and connectivity.

But there will be unhappiness amongst many small businesses. Fuel duty is not being cut and vehicle excise duty will rise by rate of inflation.

No rises for Midland drinkers but smokers face a rise in the price of packet of 20 of 37p by 6 o clock tonight .