Western in Westminster
Out and about
Budget doesn’t go far enough
The Government’s Budget included a lot of promise to reverse their own mess, but it’s very light on concrete action.
Earlier this week I announced what I wanted to see in this budget. The Chancellor failed to sufficiently meet them all. More of the same failed housing policies, and nothing transformative to tackle the huge issues in our public services such as policing. The Government simply still aren’t going far enough on so many pressing issues. For example, there was absolutely nothing in their plans to help solve our social care crisis which needs massive investment.
However, I welcome that the Government have listened to me and will be investing in EV charging points, improving our capacity for EVs, and incentives for people to buy them – supporting our and the auto industry’s transition to a net zero carbon future. More money has also been promised for tackling air quality. Whilst these initiatives are too little and overdue, it is the step in the right direction. They also announce that they will bring a review to business rates at the end of the year – which I also welcome, but more detail is needed.
Even though the Government have announced greater spending in some areas, let us not forget that the Conservatives have been in power for a decade. It is the Conservatives who have dangerously underfunded services that we all rely on for a decade. People will see this for what it is – the Conservatives spending in areas which attempts to fix their own mess.
How is it that they have taken Labour’s messages onboard, which only a few short months ago they were totally opposed? The additional spending on the NHS, roads, and further education is of course welcomed, but I’m struggling to find the Chancellor’s magic money tree. I fear that the Government are being disingenuous with the public, as it is unclear as to how they will be borrowing on transport and public services on this scale and still comply with their own tight spending rules.
This is especially true as their assumptions underlying their plans don’t take in to account the economic downturn due to coronavirus, which will inhibit their plans even further. The economy is weak due to a decade of mismanagement, and the economy is 2% smaller due to Brexit.
I fear that the Government have once again missed the opportunity to rebuild our local community and country into a sustainable society and kickstart our economy. I will keep on pressing them to do so.