Tory Budget and its unfair choices lets Rochdale down

Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, has given his verdict on this year’s Spring Budget.

Tony said, “This Budget highlights the unfair political choices a Conservative Chancellor will always make. The only tax cut has been round pensions for the very rich. Most families will pay more in tax next year. There was nothing there to solve the crisis round public sector pay and end the industrial disputes for nurses, doctors, teachers and so many others.

“Tax is at its highest level for 70-years. Those in work are earning less and it’s their sacrifice that is bringing inflation down. The government is making us pay and taking the credit for it. The average energy bill has doubled in the last 18 months and the average mortgage payment is up £2,000 a year. That’s a massive hit to living standards and whilst the Chancellor talked about a high-wage and high-skills economy, he’s given us nothing on how he will deliver it. The UK is still in the longest pay squeeze for more than 200 years.

“And where was the ambition to fund our public services and the pay rises needed to recruit and retain teachers, carers, doctors and nurses?

“There are now 7-million people on hospital waiting lists. Again, nothing in the Budget about that.

“The Chancellor mentioned that £400million will be invested in new levelling-up partnerships, including Rochdale. Given that the same government recently pulled back levelling up funds which would have improved the gateway into the town centre from Rochdale railway station, I wait with bated breath.

“They should also be embarrassed at re-announcing the Investment Zone Plan, having scrapped it. And how do we know it won’t just be scrapped again?

“Nothing in the Budget addressed the urgency of the climate crisis. There was no ambition on clean energy that will give us cheaper bills. With the absence of a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas giants, money is still on the table that could help people with the cost of living.

“Where was 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’s not there.

“Of course I welcome the announcement on nursery education for young children something I’ve been asking for years but it’s all in the future. Overall the Budget could have been so much fairer, it could have been so much better. Put simply, this Chancellor and his Budget have failed the nation.”