EMMA LEWELL-BUCK MP: Rewards for all those years of austerity are in the pockets of wealthiest

Here we are again. A phrase that I’ve thought all too often over the past few months dealing with the circus of the Tory party.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt now looks to make “difficult decisions”, which of course are difficult for working people, but not for the stroke of his pen. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt now looks to make “difficult decisions”, which of course are difficult for working people, but not for the stroke of his pen. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

But this time we’re not talking about a scandal or a new Prime Minister – we’re talking about a Chancellor hovering over his budget ahead of the Autumn Statement, crossing out spending commitments to our public services.

Austerity 2.0 has arrived.

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But no-one was talking about the kind of spending cuts that are being mentioned until the Tories crashed the economy with their disastrous mini-budget aimed at reckless borrowing to fund tax cuts for the richest in our society.

It’s been reported that the mini-budget alone cost the UK a staggering £30bn, something that Rishi Sunak refused to apologise for six times on Sky News this week.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt now looks to make “difficult decisions”, which of course are difficult for working people, but not for the stroke of his pen.

Public services in this country are already at breaking point. The NHS is on its knees, workers are striking just to keep their heads above water and now nurses are joining the fight to protect the most vulnerable on their wards from even greater harm.

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There is a way out of this crisis. It’s just not one that the Tories will take.

We have to tax the financial winners of the last few years. We need a proper windfall tax on energy companies including scrapping investment rebates, getting rid of non-dom status’, private schools VAT exemption and to close the private equity carried interest loophole.

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We can do this whilst investing sensibly in Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan, fixing business rates to help SMEs grow, and promoting a modern industrial strategy. We can close the “fiscal black hole” by increasing our GDP, as well as taxing those who won the biggest from the volatility of the last few years – but we must do it sustainably.

Over the last 12 years of Tory rule, this country has lurched from bad to worse. Where are the rewards for our years of austerity? Where are the promised improvements to our public services that comes from a “strong and stable” economy? I’ll tell you where all those benefits are, in the pockets of the wealthiest.