Here is the letter I wrote to the Surrey Advertiser to give Labour’s response to George Osborne’s budget:
The Chancellor, George Osborne, did nothing to address falling living standards in Guildford in his budget last week. Average families have been worse off year-on-year since the Conservative-LibDem Government came to power in 2010 and are now £1,600 per year worse off.
The economic recovery has finally arrived, after three wasted years, but it is a recovery for the few, not the many. Wages are not keeping up with household costs like gas bills and child care. Young people are struggling to find quality jobs.
Osborne could have frozen gas and electricity bills. He could have announced a Youth Jobs Guarantee where all young people out of work for a year would be given a compulsory, real, paying job. He could have provided 25 hours of free child care per week for all 3 and 4-year olds with working parents. He didn’t do any of those things because the cost of living crisis is not his priority.
Labour understands that for most people the recovery is not being felt at all. We would get young people into jobs, ease the pressure on families and cut rates for small businesses. This would be paid for by reversing the millionaires’ tax cut, taxing bankers’ bonuses and restricting tax relief on pension contributions for those earning over £150,000 per year.
In Guildford, we need an economy which works for working people. In his budget, George Osborne missed another opportunity to help ordinary families. The Conservative-LibDem Coalition will not tackle the cost of living crisis because they always stand up for the wrong people: bankers, millionaires and the big energy companies. If elected next year, I will be an MP for Guildford who stands up for the many, not the few.
Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford
9B Martyr Road
Guildford GU1 4LF