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Working people pay the price for ‘out of touch’ Tory Budget, say Labour

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak’s Autumn budget has been slammed by the Labour party in Somerset as an example of the Government’s attitude to working people – and the climate crisis.

Brian Smedley, leader of Bridgwater Town Council, said: “We wondered who it would be that ended up paying for the pandemic, and of course it’s us.

“There’s nothing here to avert the cost of living crisis faced by low-paid workers or provide help for struggling businesses in the retail sector. There’s nothing here for the climate emergency.

“Like everything they do they tick boxes to look like they’re doing something but they do the opposite. Put another sticking plaster on as the Earth dies screaming.

“Domestic air flights cause seven times the carbon impact of rail journeys, and car journeys produce more than four times the greenhouse gas per passenger mile as travelling by rail.

“They are playing us for fools, when they say only Conservatives can be trusted with taxpayers’ money- we do know that this is the same Chancellor who blew £37bn on Test & Trace!

“We do know that when they say spending on schools will return to 2010 spending levels by 2025 that they’ll not have spent a single penny more on children’s education since the last Labour government. And when they announce money for 300 youth centres, we do know they already closed 750 centres since 2010.

“Taking £6billion off working people and giving them £2billion back? We do know that’s a con. People won’t fall for Tory tricks much longer.

“Every single time you hear the Chancellor claim this budget is about fairness, remember he has just slashed the taxes that bankers have to pay on their profits. That’s probably not that fair…”

Ignored climate change

Irena Brezowski, chair of Bridgwater Branch Labour party, said: “There are three particular points which have caught my eye in this budget announcement.

“Firstly, on the eve of the climate conference the Chancellor has chosen to ignore the climate emergency and give no nods towards a low-carbon economy. Instead he has encouraged more people to fly by reducing the passenger duty.

“This is typical of a Government that does not have the health of the whole nation at its heart nor that of the planet – only the wealth of a few.

“Secondly, education: funding for education will return to 2010 levels – ie the last Labour government. This is outrageous as the Government has spent the last 11 years systematically driving down pupil spending.

“A sum of £5 bn catch-up spending on education sounds like a large chunk of money but let us compare it with current spending on defence. In 2019/2020 £39 billion was spent on defence – so what Sunak is proposing for education is a tiny drop in the ocean which will sink without trace once it has been shared among state schools.

“Thirdly, where is the levelling up with a new economic model being proposed ? Where is the support for families that really need it ? Where is the disowning of fire and re-hire policies driving wages down not up in real terms.

“Let’s put all these figures in perspective and not be led by the MSM. It is all a game of smoke and mirrors.”

‘Us and them’

Somerset Labour Leader Leigh Redman said: “This is another ‘us and them’ Budget. I need to point out according to Budget documents, less than a third of families losing £20 a week from this Governments Universal Credit cut will benefit from the changes to the taper announced.

“Another Budget from the Chancellor which failed on both the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis. There was no green recovery, no plan to save already stretched families £400 on increased energy bills.

“For local people this Government will force a Council Tax increase of at least 9% over the next three years. Boris Johnson & Rishi Sunak have already raised it by 13% since 2019, further hammering already hard-pressed families, you didn’t hear that in Sunak’s smoke & mirrors Budget.”

Working people first

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said: “ A Labour Government would put working people first. We would scrap unfair business rates and respect taxpayers’ money.

“And we would cut VAT to energy bills for six months immediately so working people don’t feel the strain.

“A Labour Government would build a higher wage, higher productivity economy, with better conditions for working people. We will always stand against the Conservative’s economic mismanagement, unfair tax system and wasteful spending .

“After taking £6 billion out of the pockets of some of the poorest people in this country, he is expecting them to cheer today at being given £2 billion to compensate.

“As he hits working people with the highest sustained tax burden in peacetime, he’s giving a tax cut to bankers who like to take short haul flights while sipping champagne.”





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