In my last blog about the budget I spoke about how the Chancellor’s failures have prolonged his cuts agenda and how this has hurt our public services. Now I’d like to address the more direct consequences of his decisions on households all across the country.
The budget revealed that average earnings and real household disposable income have been revised down for every year of the forecast. Household debt continues to rise. Foodbanks, homelessness and in-work poverty are all on the rise.
In the face of that the Tories have decided to ignore the issues facing ordinary families and instead continue cutting taxes for big businesses and high earners.
They talked about helping young people to save for a house; but denying everyone under 25 the upcoming rise in the minimum wage and failing to act on the burden of high rents ensures that home ownership will be an unattainable dream for huge numbers of young people.
Two million low-wage families are set to lose on average £1,600 a year from Universal Credit cuts, in spite of promises not to cut the tax credits that UC replaces.
640,000 disabled people will see their Personal Independence Payments reduced or stopped all together. The change applies directly to people who struggle to get dressed or undressed, and people who struggle to use the toilet. They will lose between £1,414 and £2,865 a year from their income.
Plus those with disabilities who need extra help to get into work will also see a loss of £30 a week now that the Government has forced through changes to Employment Support Allowance.
These are active choices being made by this Government. Higher rate tax payers will be £523 a year better off thanks to changes to income tax. A cut to capital gains tax in 2017 actually gives away more money than the PIP changes bring in.
The Conservatives budget has unfairness built into it. They hit out at people on low incomes and disabled people while at the same time giving handouts to those at the top. Their priorities are backwards and it is simply disgraceful.