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/ Chancellor reveals the scale of his economic failure
Bristol East MP, Kerry McCarthy, has slammed the Government’s economic policies after the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement revealed their devastating effect on the UK’s economy, and on the lives of people in Bristol.
Independent analysis from the Office of Budget Responsibility confirmed that the Government will have to borrow more than predicted; that debt will be higher than forecast; that the number of people looking for work will increase; and that our economy has shrunk this year. Over the last two years our economy has grown by just 0.6%, compared to the 4.6% the government promised, 3.6% in Germany and 4.1% in America. The Coalition’s policies are holding the country back.
The Autumn Statement revealed that the Chancellor will be forced to borrow £212 billion more than he planned, partly because his policies are pushing people out of work and onto benefits. Instead of helping people into work, the Government has decided to cut benefits, announcing that Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance for people who are too ill to work, Child Benefit and Tax Credits, paid to working people and families, will only increase by 1% for the next three years – a massive real terms cut for the poorest people in Bristol, when the cost of living is rising.
At the same time, the Government has chosen to give a £3 billion tax cut to the highest earners, gifting an average of £107 000 to people earning over £1 million.
Responding to the Chancellor’s Statement, Kerry commented “The best way to cut the benefits bill is to help people into full-time work, not by taking money from people who are already struggling to put food on their table each day. It beggars belief that Tory and Lib Dem MPs try to claim they are committed to “fairness” – the Chancellor’s statement shows they don’t know the meaning of the word and they don’t know how to get the economy growing.
The increased personal tax allowance is welcome, but it will not help the very poorest in low-paid jobs, people too ill to work, or those let down by the Government’s failed Work Programme.
Conservative and Lib Dem MPs have consistently defended the coalition, arguing their shared purpose is to balance the books by 2015. Today, the Chancellor admitted they cannot do this, and that they will not even be able to do it by 2017. Their economic strategy, such as it was, is in tatters and the Coalition, by its own standards, has failed.”