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‘A mixed bag’: people of Port Talbot give the budget a cautious welcome

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W hite clouds billow from the steelworks in Port Talbot as shoppers traipse down from the station into a town nestled between the rocky hills of south Wales, the M4 motorway and the charcoal blue of Swansea bay.If the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, had a place in mind when drafting his budget, Port Talbot could have been it.

The steelmaking town at the mouth of the River Afan has among the highest rates of workforce inactivity in the UK attributed to health issues, disability, or caring responsibilities.

While locals here reckon Hunt’s budget will help, they argue the government could have gone further.“Nobody can argue with extending the energy support.

We knew that was coming,” says Margaret Lake, the chair of Neath Port Talbot Carers Service, which offers help and advice for about 2,000 people in the area.“But there could have been a lot more though.

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