It's taken a little while but the Lib Dem-Conservative partnership that runs Birmingham City Council is seeing the city recover from the years of neglect left behind by Labour. Now the coalition government is starting from a similar position because Labour has left the national finances in a catastrophic state.
Birmingham has won praise from the independent Audit Commission for improving services and providing good value for money for council tax payers. Cllr Ann Holtom, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Erdington at the general election, said: "What Birmingham has had to do, the coalition government is now tackling at national level because Gordon Brown left the economy in such a mess. Interest payments alone were set to rise to £70billion a year - that's more than we spend on schools! Labour squandered billions of pounds on waste and bureaucracy and now the Lib Dems in Government are helping pick up the pieces."
Trevor Holtom, Chairman of Sutton Coldfield and Erdington Lib Dems pointed out that despite some of the painful decisions this is a budget that protects the poorest, ensures the impacts are spread fairly and delivers on Lib Dem election promises.
- Fairer taxes: nearly one million low earners taken out of income tax
- A new tax on banks: to ensure banks contribute to rebuilding the public finances
- Restoring the earnings link for pensioners: Labour had 13 years to do this but failed
- £2 billion a year increase in the child element of the child tax credit so there will be no increase in child poverty
But the Budget doesn't just pay the bills of the past, it also plans for the future, to rebalance the economy and provide a springboard for future growth. That's good news for Britain and Birmingham.