YES says Trevor Johnson, landlord of The Talbot Inn in Eynsham and The Yeoman in Freeland

From my perspective as a landlord, with the beer escalator abolished and no increase in duty on ordinary cider and Scotch whisky and with beer duty cut by 1p a pint, it has got to be a bonus as a landlord.

Oxford Mail:

  • Trevor Johnson

Beer didn’t go up for a start and that is a great relief to a good lot of publicans. Breweries put their prices up in January, February or March, they always do it in the early part of the year. And then it is very difficult for a licensee to decide whether to put up the price of the beer when the suppliers do or wait until the budget.

It is a difficult decision to make when the suppliers do it. Whether they take it down a penny remains to be seen.

One of the reasons breweries put up the price of beer is the price of fuel and getting it from a to b. Any increase in fuel prices affects that. So the decision to scrap September’s planned rise in fuel duty is a good thing from the budget. Anything to keep costs down.

I don’t know that much about pensions, but with the removal of the restrictions on access to pension pots, I think that is a good thing so you can get to the cash. It makes it easier for people who have saved up to gain access to their cash so I would have thought that that would help. If it is all tied up you can’t get hold of it, for example, if there is an emergency.

It is for that occasion when you need it for your family or for yourself. If you have access to cash you can help solve a problem.

The budget has to be welcomed. I can’t see any option with the price of beer down and a freeze on ordinary cider and Scotch whisky and scrapping the alcohol escalator – it has got to be a plus. I think it will be good for the Government – they will still have people buying items with VAT and getting the duty from the brewery.

NO says Bill Jupp, 82, from Old Marston, is a member of the National Pensioners’ Convention

No, this budget is not good for Britain. We had austerity in my day and we did work through it. I don’t see it necessary to pay these huge debts in one lump sum. It is not so great a deal. The debt was caused by bankers, we all know that. Why don’t they get the money back from the bankers?

Oxford Mail:

  • Bill Jupp

What is important to us is the basic state pension, which is one of the poorest in Europe. I don’t know why. I think everybody could be going away with at least the poverty level of £75 per week.

In the Budget all these things have been made to finance people who are better off. It is about time to help the ones at the bottom – the ones that produce the wealth of this country.

I don’t think the budget is good in the sense that they are going to release the money so people can take money out of the pension and spend it on what they like. It is going to create a bubble that will burst. It is not something that has been thought through.

There are going to be people who end up with the basic state pension and live in poverty. The basic pension is so low now. It really has been robbery.

I come from a period where we were really in debt and the GDP was £11.7bn. We had to have £59bn to be able to finance what we did after the war. Then we nationalised the railways, the coal and steel industries. We brought in the NHS which we all enjoy.

We have seen money frittered away by successive governments.

I resent being told that I have got to pay a debt that I have no part in.

The old age pensioners of today, they are really on a basic state pension. Governments don’t like old age pensioners. The Government’s austerity has created misery. The Tories never give anything to the working class. That is wrong.

The penny off a pint doesn’t really make much difference. We have got to drink 100 pints to make a pound. It is things like that they put into the budget, it cons people, makes it seem like they are giving something.