PRESS RELEASE: Autumn StatementDecember 7th, 2014
David Cameron and George Osborne have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy.
They promised we’d be all in this together but then they gave millionaires a huge tax cut. They promised people would be better off but most people in Hitchin & Harpenden are not feeling the recovery and working people are now £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories. 27.8% of those working in this constituency (excluding the self-employed) earn less than the Living Wage – compared to a national average of 21.7%.(1)
And this cost-of-living crisis is why the Chancellor had to admit that his key promise – to balance the nation’s books by next year – now lies in tatters.
Because wages aren’t rising and too many are stuck in low-paid jobs, the tax revenues we need to get the deficit down aren’t coming in.
Unlike Labour, the Tories don’t understand the fundamental link between the living standards of everyday working people in Hitchin & Harpenden and Britain’s ability to deal with the deficit. George Osborne has now borrowed a staggering £219 billion more than he planned and the economy is set to slow down next year after forecasts for wages have been revised down again.
Yet the Chancellor still tries to claim that the economy is fixed and his plan is working. How out of touch can you get? What we needed yesterday was the better and fairer plan Labour has set out.
Labour’s plan will raise the minimum wage, expand free childcare for working parents, scrap the bedroom tax and cut business rates for small firms. We will balance the books in a fairer way, starting by reversing the Tories’ £3 billion a year tax cut for the top one per cent of earners.
Changing stamp duty to help people on middle and low incomes is welcome, but we also need to get more homes built and we need a Mansion tax to help save and transform our NHS. With an extra £2.5 billion a year on top of Tory spending plans we can get the extra 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs we need to help transform our NHS and save it from the Tories.
The Tories promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 but with less money coming in because of their wrong economic decisions, they’ve broken their promise, failed their own economic test and its hardworking people who are paying the price. It’s time for an economic recovery for the many, not just a few.
Source: The percentage of those working with an hourly pay below the living wage was estimated by the ONS using data from the 2014 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, in answer to a Parliamentary Question.
Note: These estimates are for earnings of people working in the parliamentary constituency area (who may live elsewhere). Hence this may not provide an accurate view of the wages of residents of some of the cities. Also, these figures are for employee jobs only, and so excludes earnings of self-employed people.