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The Chancellor’s Spring Statement has continued austerity and cuts for years ahead

The Chancellor could have used his Spring Statement to end austerity and provide the funding our public services vitally need. Instead he chose to continue with brutal spending cuts and billions of pounds in tax giveaways to big firms and the super rich.

The Chancellor’s boasting on the economy was truly breathtaking considering the Tories have presided over the slowest recovery since the 1920’s and within the G7 we are the slowest growing economy. Nor did he mention real wages are set to be downgraded in every year from 2020.

Tory Chancellors like to say that austerity is needed to tackle the deficit but it still hasn’t been eliminated despite George Osborne’s claims in 2010 that with austerity the deficit could be reduced sharply within the term of a Parliament – 4 to 5 years.

In reality, the Tories have just moved the burden on to the public services, plunging them into financial crisis, and only a Labour government will end austerity and build a high-wage, high-skill economy which is for the many and not the few.

The UK will also be funding pensions of European Union officials until 2064 and the cost of leaving the European will be £37 billion with no extra money, as claimed by Boris Johnson during the 2016 referendum, for health services.

Average earnings are 6.5% lower than at the start of the Great Recession, no new money for the NHS, local government or social care (social care alone has been cut by £6 billion since 2010 and at a time when investment is needed rather than cuts), no halt to benefit cuts and growth downgraded from 2021.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that growth forecasts were “dreadful” compared to March 2016.

After all this the Conservative Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, has the audacity to tell the British people that all is well when things are far from well and, with continued austerity and cuts, this will plunge even more people into hardship and poverty for longer. Conservatives, you must open your eyes and look around your country, your services, your infrastructure, your schools, your people and then say “Britain is booming” as the Chancellor claims in his Spring Statement when every public service is facing a financial crisis on a scale we’ve never seen before and both his apathy to this and the Conservative governments since 2010 is a disgrace when we as a country approach an uncertain economic future outside of the European Union.