Yesterday the Chancellor announced his final Budget of this Parliament. The Chancellor’s budget simply promised more of the same with massive cuts planned for the next three to four years that will be even deeper and more damaging to public services, like the NHS, police and defence, than the austerity measures have been over the last five years.
When the Chancellor speaks about a recovery it’s a recovery for the privileged few, not the majority, leaving ordinary families’ wage packets £1,600 a year worse off, since 2010. In 2010 the Tories pledged they’d balance the books by 2015. But they are on course to break this promise, with the deficit set to be £75 billion next year and they will borrow over £200 billion more than they planned.
Labour will balance the books where this Government has failed. We will cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS and none of our manifesto commitments will require additional borrowing, with every spending and tax commitment in our manifesto will be fully funded.
We will make different, and fairer, choices sharing the burden fairly. And we’ll start by clamping down on tax avoidance, reversing the Tories’ tax cut for millionaires and introducing a Mansion Tax on houses worth over £2 million to help save and transform our NHS.
We’ll tackle the cost-of-living crisis with stronger and more balanced growth, including with an £8 minimum wage and support for businesses who pay the living wage. We’ll scrap the bedroom tax; and address the root causes of increased welfare spending by getting 200,000 homes built a year. But we are also prepared to make tough decisions like scrapping the Winter Fuel Allowance for the wealthiest 5% of pensioners.
I spoke in the Budget debate on Thursday 19th March, highlighting the impact the Budget will have on local people. You can read the full speech here.