Ruth Cadbury MP Criticises the Budget

"Osborne's 'Living Wage' is anything but"

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This budget was not about helping ordinary people, but about George Osborne’s political legacy. He gave crumbs with one hand and took chunks with the other.

Of course we would normally be happy that he has slowed the pace of deficit reduction, and increased the minimum wage. But Osborne’s so called ‘Living Wage’ is anything but. The reduction of tax credits will hit hard working families who are already feeling the strain. The new rate when it’s introduced will be lower than the Living Wage this year. To call a policy a ‘Living Wage’ is a joke to a family that will now be hundreds of pounds worse off. A family with one earner on average earnings and two children will lose over £2000 in tax credits next year from the changes announced on Wednesday. Working families on lower incomes have been hit, the rest have hardly been affected.

Growth forecasts have been revised downwards, and the Chancellor continues to miss his borrowing targets by a mile. The Chancellor announced yesterday the deficit stood at £69.5bn. He had previously promised to balance the budget by this year.

During the final stages of the recent General Election campaign, in desperation, the Tories threw the kitchen sink at the public, making some £20bn in unfunded promises – including promising an extra £8bn for the NHS. Before the election, David Cameron and his Cabinet promised to protect several key areas of welfare spending, including child tax credits and support for disabled people. This week’s budget showed those promises to be entirely worthless political gimmicks.

Once again young people are taking a massive hit at the hand of the Tories. Removing maintenance grants will only hurt young people from poorer backgrounds, discouraging thousands from going to university, just at the time when we need to be educating and training our future workforce for the high skilled jobs needed to power a 21st century economy.

This budget has failed to deliver on infrastructure, going hand in hand with recent decisions, such as ending further rail electrification and other projects in the North, which were promised before the election.

Instead of putting working people first and investing in the economy of tomorrow, George Osborne has gambled with British families and businesses in order to preserve his political legacy.

It was a missed opportunity, and there will be millions of families [with children] across the country, [thousands locally] that will now feel the squeeze.

Ruth Cadbury

July 16, 2015

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