Budget `97: `We cannot really lose'

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The Independent Online
The Allnutt family: Steve, 50, and Linda, 47, and their children Gareth, 16, and Lucy, 13, from Lincoln

Income: Around pounds 26,000 a year. Mr Allnutt works for the Probation Service, earning pounds 21,000. Mrs Allnutt works part-time for Anglian Water, earning pounds 5,000

Mr and Mrs Allnutt earn almost exactly the national average wage for a married couple. Neither smokes or drinks much, they have one car, two children and repay a mortgage at around pounds 260 a month. Mr Allnut describes himself as old Labour, but thinks that Gordon Brown should not betray the hopes of those who voted for the party.

Mr Allnutt says he would happily pay extra taxes if there were social dividends; he would have been pleased "if Miras were knocked on the head and the money went into health and education". Mrs Allnutt was very pleased with the investment into these two areas; "We're all for that, even if we lose out. It should make a real difference."

The Allnutts live in a semi-rural part of Lincolnshire and therefore depend on their car for shopping, going into town and taking the children to school. However, they both say they are happy to pay an extra 4p on a litre of petrol, as long as it goes "towards inducements to rail operators to run better services". Mr Allnutt sees public transport as "abysmal and costly", and is concerned about pollution from local power stations. He would like to see a proper system of environmental taxation on cars.