Last Thursday, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stood up to deliver his Autumn Statement.
A statement by name but a budget by nature, the Government has been forced into making this intervention in the aftermath of Liz Truss’ ‘mini budget’ – which tanked the pound and send mortgage rates skyrocketing.
To say the statement felt funereal is probably an understatement. To glum Tory faces behind him, Hunt outlined even more stealth tax rises for working people. In total, there’s now been 24 tax rises this parliament alone, with the burden on working people at the highest it has been in 70 years.
It’s worth noting that despite this, the Government is insisting on keeping Liz Truss’ policy of lifting the cap on bankers bonus’. Yes, you read that right.
Hunt presented his statement as a necessity; something he had no choice to deliver thanks to global factors. I’m afraid this excuse won’t wash for people across Tameside who are feeling the consequences of Tory economic incompetence every single day.
It didn’t have to be this way. After 12 years of Tory rule, we’ve seen growth plummeting, low investment and the systemic dismantling of vital public services like our NHS. This has culminated in 12 weeks of chaos, in which we’ve had three Prime Minister’s, a botched mini-budget, and now an invoice for the damage shamelessly handed to working people.
If I sound fed up, it’s because I am, and I know people across Tameside will feel very similar. It just isn’t acceptable for a Government to mismanage an economy to this degree, and then blame everyone but themselves.
That’s why we need a General Election, not only to hold the Tories accountable, but also to get the country moving again under a driven and determined Government.
Labour stands ready and waiting with a strategy which would rebuild our economy whilst prioritising the interests of working people. We would invest in good, green jobs around the country, implement a modern industrial strategy, scrap business rates and replace them with a fairer system, close tax loopholes, scrap non-dom status and much more.
Britain has so much potential. We have brilliant people across Tameside and across the country. We have innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses, hard workers and bucketloads of ambition. The truth is we’re being held back by this out-of-touch and out-of-ideas Government.
The Tories have had their chance and they’ve bottled it. We need a fresh start.