This afternoon we needed a Budget that would put the country on the road to recovery, and right the wrongs of the last decade by rebuilding our economic foundations. But this Budget just papers over the cracks.
The OBR has today confirmed that the Conservative Government’s mismanagement has left Britain with the worst economic crisis of any major economy.
There no plan for the NHS recovery so we can get people the health care they badly need – there was no mention of the NHS. Or social care. Any NHS funding announced in today’s Budget will of course only have applied directly to the English NHS, but Barnett funding consequentials would’ve boosted the NHS here in Wales, too. You can read more about the Welsh Government’s Budget in this blogpost here.
Here, our Welsh Labour Government have announced a £682m funding boost to our NHS and Local Government to boost our COVID response.
There was no payrise for our key workers who’ve worked to keep our country running through the most difficult times in recent memory. Despite standing outside Numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street to clap in front of the cameras.
Neither was there any plan for freelance workers who’ve been left without any support throughout the entirety of this pandemic.
Today we saw the same old Tories with the wrong priorities: stamp duty cuts for second homeowners and a cut to the incomes of the lowest paid, just as unemployment kicks in. This budget showed that the Conservatives want to go back to the same insecure economy and unequal country that’s been so cruelly exposed by the virus.
We argue that shouldn’t happen.
A Labour Budget would have put the NHS and social care at the centre of a new settlement to build a country fit for our Coronavirus heroes.
It would have had a plan to rebuild the foundations of our economy for the long term, with a relentless focus on supporting new jobs across the entire UK, supporting our high streets to thrive, protecting family finances and backing our key worker heroes.
We need to learn the lessons of this pandemic not go back to the insecurity of the past.
But this Chancellor has the wrong priorities and is totally out of touch with what this country really needs.