George Osborne is STILL looking at issues regarding Mersey tunnel tolls and how motorists can he helped.
The Chancellor used his speech at the launch of the International Festival of Business in Liverpool to urge people to vote to “Remain” in the EU in next week’s referendum.
But when pressed whether, after his pledge to cut tunnel tolls last year, he could be trusted, the Chancellor again said he is 'looking' at the issue – but left the question hanging.
Both Mersey tunnels are used by scores of Cheshire motorists travelling to and from Liverpool each day.
Before last year’s general election, the Chancellor said tunnel tolls would 'definitely' be cut for 'Wirral residents' as he visited the area to back Esther McVey’s failed campaign to be re-elected in Wirral West.
And at the time he said he hoped to go even further and fully abolish the fare depending on a review he guaranteed would be completed last year.
But when asked whether he could be trusted regarding his earlier pledges, Mr Osborne said: “Very specifically on the tunnel tolls, we are looking at that and looking at what we can do to help the motorist.
“But I would say this, I’m sitting here alongside Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, staunch Labour, and I’m a staunch Conservative.
“Lots of things we don’t agree on but we’ve tried to work together where we do agree for the benefit of Merseyside on things like this International Festival of Business which we’ve brought back to the city, on science, transport improvements.
“I would say the one thing we’re absolutely agreed on is that it would be very bad for Liverpool and for Merseyside if we quit the EU.
“Jobs would be lost here, businesses wouldn’t invest here, and we always know with recessions – and there would be a recession – it’s the north that feels it first and suffers for longer.”
By way of on an example, the chancellor said that if the UK leaves the EU Single Market the car industry, with Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port, would face a tax on exporting to Europe, and 'they’ll buy less of our cars'.
He said: “Here at the IFB it’s not a bad time to remind people of what those international links mean for people’s jobs and job security.”
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