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PC9 - Shadow Budget
Now that Labour has avoided engaging on this Government's budget and avoided opportunity to debate in Parliament, I see that they're turning straight to the press in order to try to sell their plans. Here's the problem with Labour's plan: it doesn't hold up to any scrutiny at all.

Labour talks about how their plans will create high-paying jobs- but they can't say how. The only business-related provisions they put in here is buying up unprofitable businesses and keeping them open- but that won't increase wages. Indeed they're raising taxes on middle-income individuals and families under their own budget, so anyone who's in a position to actually get a high-paying job won't have the incentive to take them.

Labour talks about how they're building a foundation for the future- but they won't say how. Even with their massive tax increases on families and workers all throughout Britain they're leaving just as much debt behind for future generations to pay. And if you want to see how to sink an economy, to tank productivity and increase costs, then Labour's plan is a good one. If you want economic growth that is meaningful and results in higher wages- you won't get it.

And that's why at the end of the day we know what Labour's economic plan is. They won't show up in Parliament to debate their budget- they're hoping the press does the work for them. Labour's economic plan is just to look like they have one- while ignoring the very real needs of families and workers in this country. Because this Government is doing far more to support workers and families with actual money than Labour's budget ever will. They hope they can force businesses to pay more through their "democratic workplace" initiatives- whatever that is. But they have not a single plan to increase incomes of workers and families. They have not a single plan to get people back to work. And they have not one single argument that actually shows they know what they're talking about.
This might come as a great surprise to the Labour Party, but the Conservatives don't actually want to see businesses fail. The debate that Labour doesn't want to have is not over if we attempt to save businesses, but how we go about doing so. For the Government, the answer is simple: cut corporation tax, invest in workers, and make it easier to start a small business in this country. For Labour, the answer is to hike up corporation tax by a whopping 5%, and then spend £9 billion of tax payer money saving the businesses that couldn't afford their tax increases. Does that sound insane to you? It's because it is! Labour is just as incompetent when it comes to matters of finance as they were when they nearly tanked our economy in the 1970s. They haven't got a clue, and their inability to get one is worrying and dangerous. Because if this radical, socialist, left-wing Labour Party led by Red Tommy is ever allowed into 10 Downing, working people and families across the country are undoubtedly going to be worse off.
The reason why the Labour Party needs to provide billions bailing out businesses is because their tax hikes will create more bankruptcies in the economy. With taxes up on families, on corporations, and on investors, our economy will struggle to recovery – and people will be worse off as a result. There is nothing pro-business in Labour’s plans to force companies into bankruptcy one day, and then bailing them out the next day so a Government can impose their ideology on the economy. The Government instead pursuing the pro-business path: cutting taxes, investing in infrastructure, and helping workers get the skills companies need.
The complete inability for Labour to understand what is driving this recession and what the appropriate responses are is absolutely staggering. When you're at a point where businesses are failing, where individuals are worried about whether or not they'll have jobs at the end of the year, economists pretty much everywhere would say that's the last time to slam on the brakes of the economy. Sadly, that's what Labour is doing. I appreciate that they have to prove their toughness on the middle classes and the business owners of this country- but the idea that they can use this period of time to raise taxes- even on NHS doctors- is going to be damaging to this country.

Labour says that this Government wants businesses to fail. That's an obfuscation to cover for the fact that Labour wants to raise taxes on businesses and investors at a time where our economy needs them most. This Government is doing the right thing by cutting taxes and increasing benefits to the unemployed and to families- the kind of stimulus that will actually help get an economy going.

Labour is doing the opposite. We need more spending and consumption and confidence in this economy- and every one of their ideas about a "new prosperous century" is the complete opposite of it. New debt that they have no plans for. New taxes that are going to suck money out of the economy. And new policies that they're going to force on businesses with no plan or explanation. You want to see a recession get worse? That's what this Shadow Budget will do.
Businesses are not going bankrupt because of tax rises, they're going bankrupt because the Tories' free market dogma has created a second recession under their watch - and the Prime Minister has admitted he's happy to watch them sink. It seems like me pointing that out has touched a nerve.
Mrs. Murphy started her press tour this morning touting Labour's commitment to supporting businesses, and guaranteeing that those struggling now receive a second chance. If raising taxes on every business across the United Kingdom is how the Labour Party defines a "second chance," I have a feeling that business owners aren't interested in the "generosity" Labour is looking to provide.
The Government rightly reduced the capital threshold for long-term unemployed to access the Enterprise Allowance Scheme. Labour opposes this. Under Labour, support to move into self-employment for the long-term unemployed will be for only those with the capital and savings; they will strip it away from thousands of people who gained it because of the Conservatives. It is the Conservative Government that is helping people who have been unemployed for a long time become self-employed and set up their own businesses, while Labour is committed to hiking up taxes to create a new wave of long-term unemployed and bankrupt businesses.
In a desperate, last minute attempt to show the British people that they haven't completely lost their polling momentum, the Labour Party has attempted to spin a narrative that the Government's budget is in fact bad for business. Ridiculous, I know. But because I think that facts are important, and that truth matters, let me give you three simple ways our budget delivers for businesses right now: 

First, the Chancellor's budget cut's corporation tax by 5%, allowing business owners to retain more of their profits and invest them back into their business. Remember: Labour's budget increases corporation tax by 5%, making it harder for businesses to survive. 

Second, the Chancellor's budget provided £700 million of new investment to training schemes for adults and young people, simultaneously providing opportunity for those struggling to find work and ensuring businesses have the skilled workforce they need to grow. 

Third, the Chancellor's budget invests heavily in infrastructure, which provides new work in the short term and reduces business costs in the long term by providing higher quality roads, railways, and bridges that will make it easier and cheaper to transport goods across the United Kingdom. 

I came across these three items by spending just a couple of minutes skimming the Government's budget. If Labour cared to look, they'd find them as well. But of course they're more interested in political rhetoric than they are in legitimate fact.
For all of Labour's vacuous pontificating about how, actually, when you think about it higher income tax is great for people's incomes and higher corporation tax is great for people's businesses there is a very glaring hole in their defence of this Shadow Budget, the defence budget in this shadow. Labour are yet to explain to the British people why, despite the armed forces risking their lives daily at this present minute in Iraq, our military deserves 10,000 redundancy notices. Equally the Labour Party are yet to explain why our armed forces deserve a real terms cut in the budget for maintaining their equipment, risking our forces' lives by cutting corners on safety and repairs. On top of that they have refused to explain why our armed forces training budget is subject to a real terms cut, or their deployment budget, or the strategic nuclear force, the list goes on and on. The Labour Party do not care about defence, they do not care about our armed forces, they ignore the very real sacrifices that our soldiers make so that they can themselves make a party political point in complete ignorance of our troops. It is absolutely appalling and I call on Labour to explain themselves to our country, but more importantly to our armed forces.

Labour have often claimed recently that the UK is no longer a great power, when they said that I didn't realise they meant they actually want to stop us being a great power. Decimating our troop levels at a time of armed conflict, taxing our economy at a time of economic slowdown, and focusing on political projects over actual policy are surefire ways to see us diminished on the world stage.
When you focus on what you get in terms of public services, it's simple. When you compare what's on offer in the Home Office budget, the choice is pretty clear. We need to break the trend of rising crime this government has presided over, and our Shadow Budget represents a new approach combining robust action on crime with a focus on tackling the problem at its roots. Under the terms of our budget, we're hiring more police officers than the government does - and we're also giving them the pay rise they deserve for being in the frontlines against crimes from petty crime all the way up to terrorism if need be. We're combining that increased, well-paid police presence with innovative measures to tackle the causes of crime by trying to address some of the social problems that lead people into following the lure of crime. It's clear: you are safer off with Labour.
the Rt Hon. Ruan Preston MP
Labour MP for Midlothian (1983-present)
Shadow Home Secretary (1990-present)
Progressive | Biography | 2 XP | Safe Pair of Hands

"The true purpose of democratic socialism and, therefore, the true aim of the Labour Party, is the creation of a genuinely free society, in which the fundamental objective of government is the protection and extension of individual liberty."
- Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley, Democratic Socialist Aims & Values

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