The cost of living crisis is the number one worry people have right now. Energy bills will go up 54% this week and will soar even more in the Autumn. Food prices and fuel prices are soaring as inflation hits 6.2% and is set to go up further and yet the Chancellor is going ahead with his planned National Insurance contributions tax rise. This Tory Spring Statement did very little to help hardworking families in Garston and Halewood make ends meet now.
There was no increase in Universal Credit to help the hardest hit and the Resolution Foundation has estimated that 1.3 million people will be forced into absolute poverty, including half a million children. Yet there was no reversal of the planned National Insurance tax rise and there was nothing in the Chancellors statement for pensioners who are struggling to get by right now. The announcements the Chancellor did make were too small to make a real difference to the financial challenges people are facing right now. His proposed income tax cut won’t even happen until 2024 and it is clear that he has put money aside to cut taxes ahead of an election rather than help people struggling to feed their families and heat their homes now. This out of touch millionaire Chancellor doesn’t understand what it is like to be unable to make ends meet. His cynical photo opportunity filling up a car far too modest to be his merely exposed that he doesn’t know how to use contactless payment.
Meanwhile prices at the pump are still higher than they were a fortnight ago. His 5p cut in fuel duty actually works out at a mere £29 a year saving for motorists.
This is a Chancellor that has raised taxes 15 times in the past two years – more times than any other Chancellor over the last 50 years. The UK is also the only country in the G7 raising taxes on working people in the midst of spiralling inflation. Working people are feeling the brunt of this Government’s cruel choices and they know that this Government is not on their side.
This is a cost-of-living crisis made in Downing Street and this Spring Statement was not the answer to the very real concerns working families in Garston and Halewood have right now.