The last couple of weeks in Westminster have been dominated by a debate on the Budget. It’s been grim, listening to the roll call of cuts that will result in so many job losses and misery.
George Osborne claimed that he would, "put fuel into the tank of the British economy." It is difficult to believe anything this Government says and his Budget is no different.
Fifteen months after the end of the recession, we should expect unemployment to fall – instead, unemployment is at a 17-year high and the Budget tells us unemployment will continue to rise.
Youth unemployment is nearly one million.
Since the Tories came to power, the bill for unemployment benefit has increased by £2.6 billion.
What was the Government’s response to growing unemployment? They introduced a work placement scheme that is so poorly funded it will cost less than the DWP spent on essential office supplies last year.
Osborne promised a £48 tax cut next year, but then increased VAT by 2.5%. This VAT increase will cost an average family £450 per year.
He cut fuel duty by 1p, but VAT added 3p to a litre of petrol.
George Osborne is ‘giving with one hand’ and taking away with lots of others.
This budget for growth knocked 0.5% off the rate of growth and is hiking up the benefits bill. The economy is shrinking.
And they say that they want to get debt down, but the Government will be borrowing £43.4 billion more.
A year ago – under Labour – unemployment was falling, inflation was lower and the economy was growing strongly.
The plans of this Government are hurting, but they are not working.