CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown has put children and education first in a "good news" Budget, it was claimed today.
Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman welcomed measures to benefit children, families and pensioners.
He said the Budget meant more for Huddersfield schools and extra help for people over 70 to pay their council tax bills.
Mr Sheerman added: "The Budget demonstrates that education is Labour's number one priority."
Colne Valley Labour MP Kali Mountford welcomed Budget proposals for a pilot scheme to boost work skills in West Yorkshire.
She said: "The New Deal for Skills will be good news for local jobseekers and people wanting to learn a new skill and change jobs.
"It will also be good news for local firms needing skilled staff."
Paul Sykes, of petrol retail company Shaw Petroleum, based at Farnley Tyas, said the Budget was "fairly benign" for motorists.
"Considering we have a Chancellor who tries to take as much as possible, motorists have got off fairly lightly," he said.
He welcomed the six-month freeze on fuel duty, but said a 2.4p a litre rise in duty for liquid petroleum gas would quickly wipe out cost advantages for fleet operators running vehicles on LPG.
A spokesman for the Freight Transport Association welcomed the move to peg road tax and freeze main fuel duty.
But he said the 1.9% rise in diesel duty would add £260m a year to industry's transport costs.
Mike Brenner, of the Campaign for Real Ale said raising beer duty by 1p a pint would threaten jobs and encourage smuggling.
But Tony Payne, Brighouse- based official for the Licensed Victuallers' Association, said publicans would be able to live with the increase.
Anti-smoking campaign group Ash said Mr Brown had missed a chance to cut smoking and improve the nation's health by raising tobacco duty by just 8p on a packet of 20 cigarettes.
The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed a promise to reduce the number of inspectors with rights of access to company premises.
Yorkshire regional chairman Tony Cherry said: "The merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise is an important step along this path."
But Tony Maleham, of accountancy firm Mazars in Huddersfield, cautioned: "The merger will mean job cuts for those departments.
"That could mean a greater burden on employers to act as tax collectors for the Government."
Mr Maleham said the Chancellor had ensured a "quiet" Budget by opting to freeze most tax rates, but added: "He has also come up with some highly- targeted measures to tackle tax avoidance."
David Robertson, chief executive of Bibby Financial Services said the Budget left Britain's small businesses bearing the brunt of the Chancellor's money-raising plans.