Somerset Labour Joins attacks on Tory Budget

Corbyn mauls Tories over Autumn budget

After Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyns stunning performance in the House of Commons today responding to the Tory Autumn Budget, Labour figures across the country and county have been echoing his calls and pushing the Labour alternative.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said “Despite the gimmicks, the jokes and the distractions — today was a ‘nothing has changed’ Budget from an out-of-touch Government with no idea of the reality of people’s lives and no plan to improve them.The Budget has confirmed what we already knew: that we are worse off under the Tories and it’s set to get worse. Economic growth is the lowest since the Tories came to office, real wages lower than in 2010, and the failure to pause the botched roll-out of Universal Credit will cause real suffering. Today the Chancellor has completely failed to recognise the scale of the emergency in our public services and found no meaningful funding to address the crisis in our schools, hospitals or children’s services.”

Does Not repair damage to Housing Market and Welfare

Sedgemoor Labour Leader Mick Lerry “Nothing on Housing and welfare “

Sedgemoor Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry said “ This Budget does not repair the damage in the housing Market and Welfare. The budget proposals announced by the Chancellor today will not meet the aspirations of many within the District. Councils have not been given the go ahead to build more houses to rent and buy. It was in 1969 when the country achieved the target of building 300K houses in a year, when Councils built half that number for people to rent.

Recently the Chancellor removed the borrowing of Housing Associations from public debt to investment in property, he failed today to do the same for Councils. Councils will be unable to borrow money from the Housing Revenue Account, to invest in building more houses to rent, because of the cap on borrowing. There will be too much reliance on major housing developers to deliver and supply houses, when at the moment they are reluctant to meet the present demand, because house prices could fall. As far as Developers are concerned, slow delivery of houses leads to greater profits.

The powers of compulsory purchase for land-banked development are too weak at the moment and Councils are unable to use these powers to unlock housing sites. The 400 million to regenerate housing estates, although welcomed, will not be enough to make a real difference, when spread throughout the United Kingdom.

The changes in Universal Credit do not go far enough, many working families also rely on Universal Credit to survive, as wages are still too low. Welfare payments still subsidise many businesses and the changes introduced in the budget will still force families into debt. The reduction in the payment of Universal Credit from 6 weeks to 5 weeks is still too long for many families struggling on a weekly basis. The payment processing time should have been shortened, so that claimants did not have claim advance payments, which they have to repay.”

Gary Tucker “Nothing for young workers”

 Nothing to help young workers

Gary Tucker, Branch secretary of Bridgwater Labour Party said “There’s nothing in the budget to help young workers.  The tiny rise in the minimum wage is insulting and there’s still no dropping of the public sector pay cap.  Seeing the gloomy forecast makes me worry for the next generation and the prospects for the future is not a good one.  We won’t be ‘fit for the future’ until the weak Tories are turfed out and the real government (Labour) comes in to put this mess right.”

More of the same….

Kathrine See “more of the same”

Kathrine See, Branch secretary of West Somerset Branch said “This budget is simply a pledge of more of the same. Not enough money for our struggling NHS, no help for families forced in to poverty by the bodged roll out of Universal Credit and yet further cuts to public services. Throwing out a sweetie of a cut in stamp duty is really an irrelevance to the hundreds of thousands of people struggling to make ends meet, the families relying on food banks, the homeless, the children in under funded schools, and the people waiting on trolleys in A and E or on long waiting lists for treatment. My only hope is that the public will go to the polls in their masses when we next get the opportunity and vote for change – vote Labour.”

Bridgwater and West Somerset CLP Chair Jane Grenfell added “Once again the South West sees no infrastructure investment. The failure to lift the public sector pay cap will have a significant impact on the quality of life for many in our county. There was no meaningful change to lower the staggering levels of in-work poverty. Once again we have a Tory budget fit for the few not the many. Scrapping stamp duty for houses under £300k won’t help our young people to find the £20 – 30k deposit they’d need to buy a house in the first place.”

Pensioners anger mounts

Pensioners locally and across the country are dismayed at the Chancellor’s lack of action to tackle the social care crisis, the demand for more suitable housing or fuel poverty. Britain’s biggest pensioners’ organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has expressed its dismay at the lack of any announcements from the Chancellor in today’s Budget statement that would benefit older people. In a statement they said “Like millions of older people, the NPC was hoping for some further details on plans to tackle the growing crisis in social care, a programme for tackling the scandal of fuel poverty and needless winter deat”hs among pensioners and the urgent need for more suitable senior housing.”

Jan Shortt- General Secretary National Pensioners Convention

Jan Shortt NPC general secretary said: “It appears that it’s not just the Chancellor’s cars which are driver less – so too is his policy on older people. There was no promise of much needed funding for social care or any measures that could help pensioners to move to smaller properties, but the biggest omission was the fact that Mr Hammond never mentioned the 34,300 older people that died last winter from the cold. In a country which boasts the sixth strongest economy in the world, the fact that tens of thousands of older people die every winter is a national scandal.”

Housing under supplied

Ms Shortt said: “The picture on specialist housing for older people is one of under supply. We need a 75% increase in specialist properties by 2035 if we are to meet a growing older population. This represents just over 51,280 dwellings a year for the next 18 years; well below the current building rate. In 2014, just 1% of UK new builds were bungalows, down from 7% in 1996. An urgent house building programme is therefore needed to match this under supply with the growing demand, and a stamp duty holiday for older people right sizing in retirement into homes under £200,000 could release up to 111,000 properties for younger families. The Chancellor certainly could have been more imaginative with his housing policy.”

Social Care system suffers

Ms Shortt said: “The social care system has suffered over £5bn worth of cuts since 2010 – and over one million older people no longer get the help they need, staff turnover is high, the quality of care is sometimes questionable and there is a distinct lack of dignity in the system for both staff and residents. A Green Paper that’s been promised next summer is simply too little, too late for hundreds of thousands of older people and their families. The Chancellor should have offered something now.”

Fuel Poverty and Winter Deaths

Ms Shortt said: “Today we learned that 34,300 older people died last winter because of cold related illnesses. This is the second highest number in the last five years and represents 285 deaths a day or 11 deaths an hour. Successive governments have simply ignored the problem of winter deaths amongst the older population and seem to have a policy of crossing their fingers and hoping things will improve. The fact that the Chancellor didn’t even have the courage to mention the issue today, or give any details as to how the government is going to tackle the issue, is quite unbelievable. The key to tackling winter deaths is to make sure older people have got a well-insulated, warm home and the income needed to pay the fuel bills. This is a basic requirement of what a decent society should do, and the today the Chancellor has failed in this duty.”

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6 years ago

Agree with all these things.
Why is no more attention / publicity being given about this …

U law protects animal welfare, but as we fumble towards Brexit Britain, MPs just voted to remove this vital safeguard, reducing animals to deaf and dumb creatures who exist purely for our benefit …

There would be general outrage I think if it was given more publicity.
I noted Labour voted against so would it not be in your interest to pinpoint it in your campaign?

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