Jeremy Corbyn condemns Budget as 'record of failure with forecast of more to come'

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn predicted Philip Hammond's Budget will unravel within days, warning "misery" will continue for people across the country.

The Labour leader said pay was lower than in 2010 and wages were falling, adding that economic growth in the first three quarters of this year was the lowest since 2009.

He told the Commons: "It's a record of failure with a forecast of more to come."

Mr Corbyn opened by telling MPs: "The test of a Budget is how it affects the reality of people's lives all around this country.

"I would submit that the reality..."

Lindsay Hoyle had to calm shouts from Tory MPs as Mr Corbyn replied to the Budget, with the Deputy Speaker noting: "If somebody wants to go for an early cup of tea, please do so. I'm told there's mince pies awaiting."

Mr Corbyn continued: "The reality test of this Budget has to be how it affects ordinary people's lives.

"I believe as the days go ahead and this Budget unravels, the reality will be a lot of people will be no better off and the misery many are in will be continuing."

Mr Corbyn said economic growth and productivity had been revised down, along with wages and living standards.

He added: "What sort of strong economy is that?

"What sort of fit for the future is that?"

The Labour leader criticised the Government for repeatedly pushing back its target to reduce Britain's deficit, as well as the rise in rough sleeping and the fact 120,000 children would spend this Christmas living in temporary accommodation.

"Three new pilot schemes for rough sleepers simply doesn't cut it," said Mr Corbyn.

"It is a disaster for those people sleeping on our streets, forced to beg for the money for a night shelter.

"They're looking for action now from Government to give them a roof over their heads."

Mr Corbyn said one in six pensioners is living in poverty, "the worst rate anywhere in western Europe".

He added: "So it's falling pay, slow growth and rising poverty and this is what the Chancellor has the cheek to call a strong economy."

The poorest tenth of households, he said, would lose 10% of their income by 2022, while the richest would lose just 1%.

He said: "So much for tackling burning injustice, this is a Government tossing fuel on the fire."

Mr Corbyn added that personal debt levels were rising with 8.3 million people over-indebted, and the Government needed to back Labour's policy of a real living wage of £10 an hour by 2020.

Working class young people, he said, were leaving university with £57,000 of debt.

Mr Corbyn called on Mr Hammond to put Universal Credit "on hold" so it can be fixed to "keep one million of our children out of poverty".

He said: "The Chancellor's solution to a failing system causing more debt is to offer a loan, and the six-week wait, with 20% waiting even longer, simply becomes a five-week wait.

"This system has been run down by £3 billion of cuts to work allowances, the two-child limit and the perverse and appalling rape clause, and caused evictions because housing benefit isn't paid direct to the landlord."

Mr Corbyn said the Chancellor fell "well short" of what was promised by Labour.

He said: "We have had the rhetoric of a long term economic plan that never meets its targets when what all too many are experiencing is long term economic pain - and the hardest hit are disabled people, single parents and women.

"The Chancellor has not been clear today - not for NHS workers, our police, firefighters, teachers, teaching assistants, bin collectors, tax collectors or armed forces personnel.

"Why does the Government think its OK to under pay, over stress and under appreciate all those that work within our NHS?"

He added: "We'll wait for the small print on today's announcement, but even what he's said falls well short of the £6 billion Labour would have delivered from our June manifesto."

Mr Corbyn took aim at the Cabinet, telling MPs: "The Communities Secretary called for £50 billion of borrowing to invest in house building - presumably the Prime Minister slapped him down for wanting to bankrupt Britain.

"The Health Secretary said the pay cap is over. But where is the money to fund the pay rise?