For the last seven years we’ve been subject to the Tories austerity agenda. They told us that their approach might be painful in the short term but it would be good for the country and good for individuals in the long term.

This budget showed us once again that this simply is not true.

  • Growth projections have tumbled
  • Productivity is low
  • The national debt has more than doubled to £1.8trillion
  • Our public services are struggling every day
  • The cost of living crisis continues to make life hard for millions of British citizens

The Conservative’s approach has failed. This was their chance to change direction, but they simply offered more of the same. There is no end in sight to austerity.

We were offered little suggestions that they might be taking an interest in the issues that people care about, but it was all half measures or empty promises.

Some extra money for the NHS but far less than what’s needed. Tweaks to Universal Credit, but not the pause and full review we need to really fix the core problems that are pushing people into debt and poverty. A little money for wifi on TransPennine trains but no mention of the major infrastructure investment needed to modernise our transport system in the North.

Even their headline measure, scrapping stamp duty for first time buyers on homes up to £300k. It’s a nod to London, people up here aren’t spending that kind of money on a house. Those who are looking to buy are more worried about the fact that there aren’t enough affordable houses available and it’s such a struggle to earn enough to save for a deposit.

It was a nothing budget with ideas that people will have forgotten within a few days. There was no mention of social care, police, schools or early years education.

This is a Government with no ideas and no vision for our country’s future.

We need to invest in our infrastructure, our services and our citizens. This budget shows that it is time for a fresh start and a new approach.

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