This week Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The statement provided an opportunity for the Government to change course after six wasted years of mismanaging the economy yet the Chancellor chose to stick to the same old course despite a significant worsening in the public finances.
Economic growth has been revised down in both 2017 and 2018 and borrowing and debt are up; borrowing is set to increase by an additional £122 billion by 2020-21 and of this less than half is due to Brexit.
Andrew Gwynne said:
‘’This Autumn Statement was a chance for the new Chancellor to repair some of the damage done after six wasted years of Conservative failure to manage the economy. Instead it revealed that the Government’s so-called ‘long term economic plan’ is in tatters.
Economic growth has been revised down in 2017 & 2018, borrowing and debt are up; meanwhile real wages will remain below their 2008 levels until at least 2021. Yet the Tories are still pressing ahead with huge cuts to Universal Credit which will hit those who are ‘just about managing’ hard.
The statement did not give a single penny to the NHS or social care despite the deepening crisis after six years of Tory cuts and it revealed the Government has absolutely no plan on Brexit, failing to give workers and businesses the certainty they need.
Only a Labour government will deliver on the ambition and vision to rebuild and transform our economy so no-one and no community is left behind.’’