Yesterday I spoke in the Budget debate to condemn the tax hikes and burdens of red tape that will hit small businesses and self-employed people in Ilford North, highlight the failure of the government to properly fund local schools, health and social care and expose the Tories' seven years of economic failure that has left us ill-prepared for Brexit.
You can watch the speech here: http://parliamentlive.tv/…/781520e8-92a0-40c5-8e9a-55514180…
I'm particularly concerned for more than 10,000 self-employed Ilford North residents, who will be clobbered by rises in National Insurance and the thousands of small businesses that will see their business rates go up. This will affect a range of people from taxi drivers and entrepreneurs through to high street businesses.
As ever with the Tories, the money can be found to fund an inheritance tax cut for the wealthiest 24,000 estates and a corporation tax cut for big businesses. So companies like Uber pay less tax, while their low paid drivers pay more. So much for an economy that works for everyone.
Meanwhile, health and social care remains under-funded and at a tipping point. The Tories are asking you to pay more in council tax, but our local Labour council are still forced to cut public services to plug the funding gap to keep older people alive and well.
Schools in Redbridge are facing real terms funding cuts - on average £188 per pupil per year. The money for schools announced yesterday will be concentrated in a small number of selective schools serving a small section of the population.
We've now had seven years of failure on the economy:
- slow growth in the economy, but a real terms fall in the value of wages
- a widening productivity gap, keeping wages down
- a fall in the value of our currency, fuelling inflation and driving up prices
- a boom in unsustainable credit card debt because people are struggling to make ends meet
- a failure to tackle the debt and the deficit as was promised
This isn't an economy that works for everyone. This isn't a country prepared for Brexit.
I will continue to stand up for Ilford North and use my position on the Treasury Committee to hold the Government to account for their broken promises with the hope that they can be persuaded to change course.