On November 23 the Chancellor delivered his verdict on the direction of the UK economy; the omens did not look good.
After six years of failed austerity with little wage growth the Tories’ economic plan is in tatters but instead of the promised ‘reset’ suggested by the Chancellor he has instead offered more of the same failed austerity.
Real wage growth is set to fall further, with an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) analysis revealing that real wages will remain below their 2008 levels until at least 2020 while the Chancellor confirmed that the so-called ‘Living Wage’ will not rise to £9 as promised.
My fear in the wake of the Chancellor’s statement is his lack of concern for our NHS. His Autumn Statement did not mention the NHS or social care once.
It’s jaw dropping that at a time when the NHS is facing the biggest financial squeeze in its history – when waiting lists are at four million, when A&Es are in crisis – that the Autumn Statement contained not a single penny piece of extra investment for social care and the NHS.
The financial squeeze on health services will get much tighter over the next five years, with spending per person on the NHS falling by nine per cent. Theresa May must wake up to the crisis facing the NHS.
Published in Stockport Express, Wednesday 7th December.