“It will do nothing to improve the lives of residents in Lancashire”
Labour County Cllrs, Azhar Ali and Julie Gibson have condemned the recent budget as a budget for millionaires that will do nothing for working people in Lancashire. The Chancellor, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt unveiled his budget last week hailing it as a recipe for getting the country back on track. However, Lancashire Labour Group Leader, Cllr Ali, said: “This budget is a sticking plaster for a country that needs major surgery,” and accused Jeremy Hunt of having “no ambition” to improve the lives of working people in Lancashire.
Cllr Ali said: “We are facing the worst financial crisis of the G7 Countries, we have stagnant growth in the UK economy and an International Monetary Fund analysis that suggested the UK would be the worst-performing country in the G7 this year. People are facing the biggest fall in spending power for 70 years. And what do we get from the Chancellor? Tax breaks for millionaires and a gift into their pensions pots when pensioners across Lancashire are struggling to make ends meet and are frightened to turn on the lights or their heating for fear of getting a massive electricity bill.”
His comments were echoed by Shadow Cabinet Member Julie Gibson who said: “The Chancellor introduced new investment zones across the country – not one of them is earmarked for Lancashire. The failure of the Tories at Lancashire to agree a devolution deal means that we are missing out on much needed funds. There was nothing for Councils in this budget. It did not include further investment in adult social care, public health and children’s services all of which play a vital role in supporting economic growth and helping people back to work. Even the announcement on childcare won’t come on stream until 2025.”
She continued: “As local councillors we want to work with Government on long-term funding plans to deliver sustainable local services to our communities, but under this Government Lancashire County Council has lost over £600million from its budget and is expected to deliver more with less. We now have the highest taxes since the war and the biggest drop in living standards and our borrowing is at record levels. After 13 years of this government, what we needed was a major boost to kick start our economy, what we got was jam tomorrow.”