My thoughts on the Budget

What we needed was a Budget that invests for the future.  One that takes real action to build more affordable homes, improve transport infrastructure, support people into work and address the chronic underfunding of social care. 

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Instead, what we got from the Tory Chancellor was another attack on those who have the least.   

His cuts to tax credits will leave over three million working people across the country worse off. That's even with the welcome increase to the minimum wage.  Here in Hornsey & Wood Green, 11,200 children are growing up in families who receive tax credits.  They can make the difference between being able to pay the bills and put food on the table.  Today's changes will see a family with two kids and one earner on average income lose over £2,000.  

Young people from low income families will be saddled with even more debt when they leave university as maintenance grants have been scrapped.  

People who can't work or have a limited ability to work because of a disability or health condition will see their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) reduced, causing stress and hardship to many thousands of vulnerable people.

The young, the poor and the vulnerable should not be paying the price of an economic crisis they did not cause.  Why aren't we tackling the soaring housing benefit bill through a massive house building programme, rather than through selling off homes, cutting support and forcing low-paid families out of expensive areas like ours?

Where were the measures in today's budget to build our economy and improve productivity?  To fund modern transport infrastructure, improve our ageing railways and create thousands of jobs by investing in renewable energy and green technologies.  

Why was there complete silence on the subject of social care?  We have to relieve some of the pressures on our hospitals by addressing this desperate and growing crisis.  It is illogical to ignore it, as the chronic underfunding of social care has a knock on effect on our National Health Service and the problem will only get worse as local authorities face yet more cuts.

Sadly, this was more of the same from the Tory Party that doesn't address the real issues and will make life harder for many of those who have the least.  

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Catherine West

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