This article was originally published in the Sunderland Echo. To read the original article click here.
At the Autumn Statement the Chancellor lifted the lid on thirteen years of Conservative economic failure. What was laid bare is the full scale of the damage that the Conservative Government has done in that time – and nothing that has been announced will remotely compensate the British people.
The economy simply isn’t working. And, despite all their promises, working people are still worse off. It’s not good enough for my constituents, for Sunderland as a whole, or for Britain.
Instead of broken promises and unambitious policies, Labour’s immediate priorities would be tackling the cost of living and growing our economy by boosting wages, bringing down bills and making working people across the country better off.
We’d be investing in high and rising standards for all our children in all our schools, ending the indefensible tax breaks that private schools enjoy so we can deliver more teachers, better mental health support, and tackle the barriers to learning that hold back too many of our young people.
And our aspiration for our young people extends far beyond school. We’ve set a target of one and a half million new homes being built, and a brand-new generation of new towns at the core of that ambition. Those homes and towns would have the infrastructure to support their residents, with GP surgeries, schools, businesses and transport links right at the heart of these communities.
These policies come on top of our existing commitments to ban zero hours contracts, outlaw fire and rehire employment practices, establish GB Energy, put thousands more neighbourhood police & PCSOs on the streets and introduce fair pay agreements for the social care sector.
Everything Labour sets out is on the foundation of economic responsibility. We saw the consequences of the Conservatives behaving recklessly with our economy during the disastrous Conservative mini-budget last year. And working people are still paying the price.
The Autumn Statement followed a King’s Speech that was a missed opportunity. Rather than backing ambitious plans to shape the future of the country, the Government has simply failed to stand up to its own backbenchers.
And all of this amid desperate reshuffles that prove that Rishi has no control over his own Cabinet. It paints a clear picture – a weak Prime Minister, a Cabinet fraught with infighting, and a government whose key plans are falling apart. For the Conservatives, it’s party first, and country second.
Britain deserves better. The general election cannot come soon enough.