This week I spoke in the Budget Debate in the Commons, arguing that ‘levelling up’ is no more than an empty soundbite for many people living in Garston and Halewood.

Across the country – and closer to home in my constituency – it’s the poorest who are being hit the hardest. As the IFS analysis said “the gap between the generosity of the furlough scheme and the meanness of our out of work benefit system could hardly be more stark”. Yet the Chancellor made a splash of cutting tax on champagne, which will do nothing to cut child poverty. Rishi Sunak and this Tory government have no idea about the lives of ordinary people, or how the enormous tax burden this budget places on working people will hurt families across Garston and Halewood.

This was a low-growth, high-tax budget that highlights just how out of touch they are.

Inflation is up. Taxes are up. Wage growth is grinding to a halt. That isn’t levelling up. They have been in power for over a decade but by 2026/27 households will pay £3000 a year more tax than they did when Boris Johnson walked into Downing Street. It is a terrible record and things are set to get worse because of their botched Brexit and the fact that there is no plan for growth.

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