Rochdale’s MP, Tony Lloyd, delivered a hard-hitting speech in the House of Commons this week on how the contents of the Budget will be damaging for Rochdale. Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the contents of his Budget, which sets out the Government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead.
Tony said, ‘This Budget is laden with unpleasant and unfair political choices made by the Chancellor.
‘It’s frankly insulting that no new support has been announced for our over-worked NHS and public service workers, and no guarantee made of a decent pay rise. It would have been hypocritical for us to clap our NHS workers and then to say to them, ‘But you will have a real-terms pay cut.’
’Social care in our country is in crisis, and the sector is dominated by women workers on far too low pay. We saw nothing in the Budget to relieve those problems, and the Government has got to look at that again.
‘Rochdale has seen £170 million taken away by successive Conservative Governments since 2010. Unemployment is 50% higher amongst our young people than in the country as a whole, and over 17,000 Rochdalians receive Universal Credit. It makes no sense to say that universal credit will be cut by £20. That will take £17million a year out Rochdale’s economy, and stopping furlough in September will do equal damage.
‘Gaps in government support schemes have also not been addressed. Those who have been excluded from financial support for the last 12 months face another year with no income because that is the nature of their work. It makes no sense for businesses and those who are self-employed to be put at risk.’
This recent Budget announcement comes at a pivotal moment, as the first step in easing the lockdown has begun with millions of children now back at school, and as the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate change summit in November this year.
Tony said, ‘This Budget could have been a chance to break from the past, repairing the economy whilst fixing our society and preparing us for our next challenge, Climate Change. But nothing in the Budget addresses the urgency of the climate crisis.’
In his speech, Tony asked ‘Where is the ambition in the Budget? Where is the hope for the future? Where is the plan for investment in education for our young people or jobs skills training for the future? It is not there.
‘This Government has failed, this Budget has failed, and the Chancellor has failed the nation.’