“The silence on public sector spending rings alarm bells as to the future of our services which are already suffering from decades of austerity, chronic underfunding and privatisation.”
By Apsana Begum MP
Today, yet again, the Government has shown it’s incapable of tackling the crises we face.
Despite there being the biggest squeeze on household finances since comparable records began, the #SpringStatement contains nothing more for those dependent on benefits – even after the Government pushed through a real-terms cut in social security payments earlier year. This will severely affect low paid workers, and people who can’t work at all, including the many women who perform unpaid care, pensioners, and disabled people.
At the same time, almost all workers will be paying more tax on their earnings in 2025 than they would have been paying without this parliament’s reforms to income tax and NICs, despite the tax cutting measures announced today.
The silence on public sector spending rings alarm bells as to the future of our services which are already suffering from decades of austerity, chronic underfunding and privatisation.
A bold radical comprehensive rescue package is needed.
Winter fuel payments could be doubled, the £20 cut to Universal Credit should be reinstated immediately, VAT on household bills could be scrapped, and energy companies could be taken into public ownership to ensure that rather than profits being siphoned off, money is instead spent on reducing bills for consumers.
A new universal care system which is free at the point of need could improve the quality of care, ensure good pay and conditions for care workers, and stimulate the economy.
Pursuing a green recovery could be key in addressing economic challenges whilst expanding renewable energy to address climate change.
The ideas and solutions are there to be taken up and developed but just as the Tories have driven us to this point, I fear that they have neither the inclination nor the imagination to do what is needed.
- Apsana Begum is the Labour MP for Poplar & Limehouse. This article was penned in response to the Spring Statement on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022. You can follow her on twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- You can read Apsana’s pre-spring statement analysis on Labour Outlook here.