The Chancellor delivered his Budget statement to the House of Commons yesterday spending an hour telling people they are better off and have never had it so good. His statement could not hide the fact that after five years of this Government working families are £1,600 a year worse off and our NHS is going backwards.
The Chancellor gives with one hand, but takes away much more with the other hand. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says his tax and benefit changes since 2010, including the big VAT rise, have cost families on average £1,127 a year. No pre-election tax cut can make up for that.
The Budget said nothing about the NHS. The Office for Budget Responsibility says these Budget plans will mean “a much sharper squeeze on real spending in 2016/17 and 2017/18 than anything seen over the past five years" and “a sharp acceleration in the pace of implied real cuts to day-to-day spending on public services”. More extreme spending cuts will go way beyond balancing the books and will put our NHS at risk.
We needed a better plan and a Budget that would put families first and save our NHS. This could be done by raising the minimum wage to £8 an hour, cutting taxes for working people with a lower 10p starting rate of tax and reducing business rates for small firms.