The Coalition's Last Budget


Osborne's Budget today will be wrapped up in the same tired rhetoric of the last five years - a rhetoric not fooling anyone in Sheffield.

The phrase 'long term economic plan' cannot disguise the fact that after five years of the Tories and Lib Dems in power, working families are worse off and our public services are desperately underfunded.

It also can't disguise the fact that there is nothing long-term about their 'plan' at all.

The austerity measures imposed by this government, and those planned if the Tories win the election, have entrenched inequality in our society - hurting working people and those on benefits whilst giving huge tax cuts to the privileged few at the top.

The Tories' entire economic strategy is based on an outdated economic theory of 'trickle down' - allow the wealthy to get wealthier and the rest of us will benefit.

We know this simply doesn't work.  With 1 in 4 people in my constituency of Sheffield Heeley earning less than the Living Wage, incomes for under-30 year olds down by over 7% since last year and the steady rise of zero hour contracts and low pay, the Tories can't tell us that their economic plan is working.

What's more, it has done nothing to address the causes of the last financial crisis.  By claiming that problems in the economy were the fault of public sector spending and focusing on slashing that, they've circumvented tackling the fundamental problems in the economy - a short-termist, under-regulated financial sector and an imbalance towards service industries.

Labour has a better plan for our economy - investing in our high-skilled industries, creating apprenticeships, delivering a Jobs Guarantee for young people, increasing the Minimum Wage, cutting taxes for working people and business rates for small businesses.

Only if we share growth more fairly across the economy can we ensure long-term, sustainable growth and a healthy economy.