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No end of austerity for the poorest

We might feel that with the massive borrowing to spend in the UK chancellor's budget sees the end of austerity.   Not long ago, the Tories were attacking Labour for their spending plans.  Now, this Tory government is set for the biggest spending spree in decades.

Of course, much of this is because of the coronavirus pandemic.   The NHS will get a boost in spending because, without such an injection of new cash, it will be unable to cope.

The government is responding to crises.  At last, it is putting in the much-needed funds to strengthen flood defences.

But does all this mean the end to austerity?  The answer to the poorest is that it does not.   There is little in the budget to address the problem of social care.  There is little to solve the issue of high rents and poor standard of housing.



There is little to address the crisis in children's services, and little to address the crumbling school infrastructure.

It is a spending budget, but it doesn't address the real problems faced by working people who have struggled over the last decade.

This is still, under the skin, an austerity budget.  Yes, it deals with the critical needs of the coronavirus crisis and its economic consequences. It is right that it should.  But once again, it will be the poorest who will pay for it.

The Tories have been forced to break their own wisdom on borrowing.   There will be problems ahead.

There is little to address the problem of chronic underfunding of our local authorities.  Many are facing difficulty meeting their statutory requirements.  Children's services, youth services, social care are all set to continue underfunding.

We needed a budget for the people.  We have a budget that rightly protects businesses, but does little to protect the most impoverished families.  It isn't a budget that levels up.  It is a crisis budget.

There is little of the promised Brexit dividend for the NHS.

The government benches cheered the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he sat down after his speech, but many are concerned that they have abandoned the very principles on which they sought election.   Some have already voiced concerns.



 

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