THE shadow Chancellor was full of praise for one of Worcester's leading manufacturers yesterday during a pre-election visit to the city.

Conservative MP George Osborne became the third member of the shadow cabinet to visit Worcester in the run-up to next month's city council elections when he took a tour of the Worcester Bosch factory at Warndon.

Mr Osborne told your Worcester News: "Worcester Bosch is a really impressive company. As a politician, the big issues on my desk are things like climate change and the fact that families are paying more for their heating bills.

"This is a company that's really engaged in solutions to these problems, right here in the city."

Mr Osborne went on to echo growing criticism of the Labour government for controversial tax changes which came into force this month. The basic rate of income tax has been cut from 22p to 20p, but the lowest 10p band has been removed altogether.

Mr Osborne said. "Removing the 10p tax band is going to hit a lot of people in Worcester. Anyone earning less than £18,000 a year will see their tax bill go up.

"I don't think you should try and sort out the country's economic issues on the backs of the poorest paid."

But Worcester's Labour MP Mike Foster hit back, describing the shadow Chancellor's words as "shallow and opportunistic". He said: "George Osborne says he wants the 10p tax band, but he won't explain how he's going to pay for it. It would cost £7 billion to restore. The man is a charlatan."