EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: This is a Government with the wrong priorities and values

I am writing this column just before I head to the Chamber of the House of Parliament to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spring Statement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his Spring Statement in the House of Commons. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his Spring Statement in the House of Commons. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire

What is already abundantly clear is that he is not going to offer anyway near the help needed to get us through the difficult months and years ahead.

Public finances are always about priorities.

We know from the past 12 years of Tory governments that food insecurity, along with poverty, public services and those key workers who kept us afloat throughout the pandemic are not now nor were ever going to be a priority for this Chancellor.

Just look at the billions in alleged covid fraud, that was written off and allegedly given to Tory friends and donors for failed contracts.

Inflation is predicted to rise to an eye watering eight per cent, yet the minimum wage is only set to rise by 59p per hour, while, at the same time, pensions and benefits will see a measly 3.1% rise.

We are about to see the biggest fall in incomes since the 1970s.

Yet, over the last few days we have seen the Chancellor Rishi Sunak up his Instagram game, go on a PR offensive and dish out the usual platitudes that we should be reassured he will stand by us.

He won’t. We are experiencing the biggest tax burden in more than 70 years; the United Kingdom is the only major economy raising taxes in the midst of a cost of living crisis and we are expected to have the biggest downgrade in growth out of all G7 economies.

The Government have disgracefully tried to blame the rise in living costs on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This is simply not true; inflation was due to soar to seven per cent before this despicable attack.

People need real help from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

He could stop the rise in National Insurance and introduce a windfall tax on the oil and gas producers’ profits to help consumers and businesses. But he won’t.

Whatever he announces, there is one thing for certain the rhetoric won’t match the reality, this isn’t just a Government out of ideas, it’s a Government with the wrong priorities and values.