Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Alan responds to the Budget

This Budget proved that you’re worse off under the Tories with no action to deal with the cost-of-living crisis. 

The chancellor failed to mention in the budget that 24 tax rises have been introduced on his watch. He has increased VAT, taxed away child benefit and raised insurance tax. It’s no surprise then that since this government came to power, living standards have fallen for the 44 out of 45 months.

The Chancellor boasted about how well things were going, but it was totally out of touch with hardworking people facing a cost-of-living crisis. We need a recovery for the many, not just a few at the top.

Wages are down £1,600 a year since David Cameron became Prime Minister.

The OBR confirmed that people will be worse off in 2015 than they were in 2010.

Energy bills are up almost £300 since the election.


George Osborne has overseen the slowest recovery for 100 years, and is forecast to borrow over £190 billion more than planned.

Britain can do better than this. Britain needs a Labour Government to:

Freeze energy bills until 2017 and reform the broken energy market.

Put young people back to work, with a job the young unemployed have to take – paid for by a tax on bank bonuses

Expand free childcare for working parents to 25 hours a week for 3 and 4 year olds

Cut taxes for 24 million working people on middle and low incomes with a lower 10p starting rate of income tax

Cut business rates for small firms and a plan to get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020

Balance the books in the next Parliament, in a fairer way including reversing the £3 billion tax cut for people earning over £150,000.


Tory claims on the economy: The Facts

Tory claim: The Government has cut the deficit

The Tories are set to break their promise to balance the books by 2015.

In fact they are set to borrow £190 billion more than planned – because they choked off the recovery and flatlined the economy for three years.

According to current forecasts the deficit in 2015-16 is set to be £75 billion.


Tory claim: A strong recovery is underway

The recent growth in our economy is welcome and long overdue after three damaging years of flatlining. But most working people, who are still seeing their living standards falling, are not feeling any recovery at all.

Our economy is still 1.4% below its pre-crisis peak, while in contrast the US economy is now 6.2% above its pre-crisis peak.


Tory claim: 1.6 million private sector jobs have been created under this Government and youth unemployment is falling

The Government is dangerously complacent on unemployment. The number of people working part-time because they can’t find a full-time job has increased by 345,000 under this Government.

Over 900,000 young people are unemployed and the number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than 12 months has almost doubled under David Cameron.


Tory claim: The wealthiest are paying more in every year of this Government’s time in office than they ever did under Labour

Labour introduced the 50p top rate of tax in April 2010 to help get the deficit down in a fairer way. David Cameron has cut it – giving a £3 billion tax cut to the richest 1% in our country. Labour will reverse this tax cut for the very richest for the next Parliament so that we can balance the books more fairly.


Tory claim: Labour has opposed every measure the Government has taken to control the welfare budget

Labour supports an overall cap on welfare as a means of keeping social security under control as we said in June

We’ll stick to our plan of keeping the costs of social security under control by tackling the root causes of spending, including:

  • tackling the low wages which leave too many people reliant on in-work benefits
  • getting 200,000 homes built a year to control the rising cost of housing benefit,
  • introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get the unemployed back to work.

This Government can’t control the cost of welfare because they haven’t focused on the causes of spending – they don’t understand that the cost-of-living crisis is leaving people trapped in low-paid jobs and reliant on tax credits and housing benefits.


Tory claim: Labour would borrow billions more in the next Parliament

It’s this Government which is set to borrow £190 billion more than they planned because they flatlined the economy for three years.

Labour has said there will be no more borrowing for day-to-day spending in 2015/16. And we will balance the books and deliver a surplus on the current budget and falling national debt as soon as possible in the next Parliament. 

We will get the deficit down in a fairer way, including by reversing David Cameron’s tax cut for millionaires.


I also spoke about the Budget in the House of Commons. If you're interested in reading the transcript, please click here: 

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