Budget Day: November 2017 – A Country Poorer for longer
Millions of us were left with a depressing feeling of deja vu yesterday as yet another Conservative Budget offered them no way out of the misery caused by years of cuts. The Chancellor Philip Hammond showed his contempt for public sector workers by making no mention of a rise in wages despite the 1% pay cap being lifted. He also failed to mention a single word on the social care crisis engulfing the elderly and ignored the key NHS demand for £4 billion. There was no extra cash for hundreds of schools. Even his bid to attract young voters by scrapping stamp duty for first-time house buyers backfired after experts warned it would push up house prices. The Chancellor then boasted the future was bright for Britain even though admitting that growth was stagnating and would fall over the next 5 years.
Economic experts said his admission would leave hard-working families £540 worse off. Making matters worse Mr Hammond has pressed ahead with plans to freeze benefits and signals Theresa May’s intention to continue with damaging austerity despite warnings it has failed (low productivity/growth forecasts) and will plunge millions more into poverty. People were looking for help and again they have been let down.
The Chancellor whilst delivering his Budget (between awkward jokes) continues to think that the future is bright but that’s not what it looks like to workers on low wages, insecure jobs and in poor communities.
By next March there will have been £6 billion cut in social care alone. This Budget has left the sick, vulnerable, elderly, public sector workers, in fact the majority of us facing years of hardship in an economy which will be dire for years to come and the cost of living increasing. A Budget for the few and not the many.