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PC9 - Shadow Budget
#1
Closes 10 July 23:59
Steve | A-Team
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#2
Labour has put on quite the performance with their Shadow Budget proposal- pulling out all the stops to highlight everything they've said for years about what's wrong with capitalism, with the Conservatives, or with the basic laws of supply and demand. But what they were lacking among their attempt at rhetorical flourish was a plan to get Britain out of recession. Yes, they said they'd build just a few more clinics, hospitals, and schools than the Government announced in Parliament. But they also want to put forward policies that will increase taxes and pull money out of the economy when it's needed most. They've put forward policies that won't provide real relief to working Britons or to businesses in need- but that will set up "democratic workers' councils" or whatever they wish to call their plans.

This recession isn't the result of non-democratic business practices. It's the result of a collapse in demand. And I see little in the Shadow Budget that's designed to get at that or provide real relief to people in need through either larger paychecks or support for those about to lose their homes or their small businesses. I see little that is designed to go towards those on a low-income that need support with childcare or education expenses or even mental health. I see little that is designed to capture the innovative spirit that is the firey engine of the British economy, and lots of policies designed to snuff it out.

Labour puts on a good show with their Shadow Budget. What they're lacking is real ideas that will put people to work. Thankfully, that's what the Government is here for.
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#3
Labour likes to talk about how their Shadow Budget is some break with the past and charting a new course for the future- that it's not just a one-off. Surely they're already playing economic kingmaker by putting billions of pounds into setting up "democratic workplaces" and trying to raise taxes on many people at a time when this economy can't afford it.

But what they don't have an answer for is what their new course is going to cost. More than £75 billion in new debt- and unlike the Government, they have no plan to make up this shortfall. Even by raising taxes to super-high levels, they can't cover their new grab-bag, free-for-all spending model that is supposed to be the path to the future of Britain. Labour's Shadow Budget isn't an economic plan. It's a Mad Libs of socialist ideas, and it's one that clearly will collapse under it's own weight- the numbers don't add up. Thankfully, when we need serious investments in this economy and support for those in need, it's the Government that has a real solution and that will make sure we responsibly invest in Britain to focus on growth of our economy. All Labour's Shadow Budget does is focus on the growth of government.
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#4
With this Shadow Budget Labour have forfeited any right to lecture on defence and foreign policy ever again. At a time when the British Army is actively engaging in combat operations abroad Red Tom has chosen to advocate for the slashing of 10,000 military personnel, 3000 reservists, and 2000 other support; Sir James McCrimmon, who says with a straight face that he wants to be Prime Minister of this country, signed off a Shadow Budget which cuts over £800mn out of our Armed Forces' maintenance and procurement budget; and Griff Rhys Morrison, whom I had so much respect for, okayed a budget which merely left our intelligence forces to make do with a paltry inflation increase in funding. The Labour Party are not a credible alternative waiting to enter government, no credible party of government could allow our boys to go to war with 10,000 jobs and £800mn in funding about to be drained away in front of their eyes while they're still in combat. The Conservative Party are the only party which can be trusted to protect our country with the soldiers, equipment, and intelligence required to keep us all safe.
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#5
For Labour, families aren’t a priority. If they implement the Shadow Budget, the average family would pay £1,000 more in income tax and receive fewer public services as they scrap our Family Hubs. For all Labour’s claims that they care about working families and those on the lowest incomes, their Shadow Budget will hurt these people the most so they can create a Democratic Workplace gimmick. Whereas the Conservatives stand up for the interests of all families in Britain, Labour just stands up for the state and for bureaucracy.
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#6
The Shadow Budget from Labour represents a serious long term strategy to revitalise communities, get the British people back into work and boost wages, which is a huge contrast from the empty gestures and quick fixes in the Conservative budget. 

Labour has presented the British people with a longer term blueprint that doesn't just create jobs, but ensures that they receive the right training and advice, that those jobs are being created in communities that need them the most and that the jobs created are stable jobs that pay a decent wage for a hard day's work. This isn't just good for workers and communities, but it strengthens the economy too.
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#7
Where the Government's Budget is pro-family this Labour Shadow Budget is decidedly not. The Government have delivered a Budget that will make the average family £2000 better off when you account for pay rises and our £1000 tax cut, Labour meanwhile have frozen your taxes at a time of recession so that they can spend it on ideological projects and party political statements. Our mortgage protection programme, at a cost of £8bn to the taxpayer, will keep families homed and sheltered at a dangerous time for all while Labour's proposal covers less than a quarter of the money and is based purely on whether you are better off than you were in 1980, ignoring an entire generation who entered the working world between 1981 and the present day. Labour are only interested in politics, the government governs for all and is delivering for hard working families where Labour deliver the worst of all worlds: higher taxes, wasteful spending, and political objectives that trump the people they're supposed to help.
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#8
In this Shadow Budget, the Labour Party are offering a plan of long term investment into our economy to create a fairer Britain, taking us into the 21st century and undoing the misery heaped onto the most vulnerable in our society over the last decade due to the failed economic project of Thatcherism. This shadow budget shows how we would begin to forge a fairer Britain with the redistribution of wealth from the Conservative Party’s friends at the top to those hit the hardest by Thatcherism as well as creating good paying jobs.

The Labour Party’s Shadow Budget created and presented by my friend and colleague the Shadow Chancellor offers a 40% increase in regional development grants. We will be investing in communities across this country, especially those hit hardest by the government’s deindustrialisation. We will also be substantially increasing Pensions, disabled and family benefits as well as unemployment benefits. The Labour Party has also offered a huge increase in investment for job training centres as well as other employment resources.

This Shadow Budget would entirely eliminate prescription charges. This Shadow Budget would build 300 new medical facilities. This Shadow Budget would hire 1,000 new doctors, 5,000 new nurses and 3,000 other staff while also giving 10% pay increases for all our hard working NHS staff!

On Education, we would build 125 new schools as well as hiring 15,000 new teachers and 6,000 teaching assistants as well as giving our dedicated teaching staff a 10% increase in their wages so they get a fair pay for educating the minds of tomorrow. We also offer a 25% increase in funding per student compared to the last budget. But we also care about adult education, that is why the Labour Party would quadruple adult skills initiatives.

The Labour Party will hire 3,000 new firefighters who put their life on the line to protect others. The Labour Party will hire 2,500 new police officers to keep our communities safe and increase their pay by 10%.

This is Labour’s economic vision for a fairer Britain! This is what we will deliver in government, ending Tory rule after the disaster that has been the last decade of Thatcherism. The Conservative Party are offering short term change, the Labour Party is offering Real Change for the country!
James Davies MP
Labour MP for Islington North (1987-)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education & Science (1990-91)

Faction: Socialist Campaign Group
Additional XP: 1XP from PC
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#9
Over the course of this debate the Labour Party has focused very heavily on rhetoric; talking about Thatcherism, about a "worker's revolution," about which economic model is right for Britain. Labour is obsessed with debating about everything other than whose budget is better, because even they know their Shadow Budget leaves working people significantly less well off than the Government's. If Labour was in power, they would have the power to actually implement their proposed Shadow Budget into law. The result would be higher taxes on individuals, higher taxes on families, and higher taxes on business. For all Labour's talk of "investing," in the British people, their Shadow Budget would see to it that working people lose more of their pay packet to the state. That's not a recipe for economic success, it's a blue print for socialism and unnecessary state overreach.

I heard on the news Mr. Davies, the Shadow Education Secretary, talking about Labour's plans to use their Shadow Budget to "redistribute the wealth." The concept of wealth distribution is something widely lauded by socialists not just here in Britain, but around the globe, as a means to strengthen working people. Let me be very clear: when Labour talks about redistributing wealth, they mean taking more of your pay packet and redirecting it to bloated Government programs, propping up outdated nationalized industries, and giving a short term financial boost to those most likely to vote for them. The Conservative Party understands that wealth distribution will never work as a long term plan to grow the economy, because we recognize that economic growth isn't created by the state: it's created by you, the British people. 

We're not interested in taking someone's money and giving it to someone else. We, this Conservative Government, are interested in creating a free market environment in which hard working people and enterprising small businesses can be the masters of their own success. While Labour is focused on creative ways to move around the money that presently exists in the economy, the Conservative Party is interested in growing our national wealth so that there is more opportunity for everyone.
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#10
Let's dispel with some Tory spin and mistruths from the getgo, shall we? Our economic vision is centered around uplifting and empowering working families who have been forced to endure immense misery and despair over the past decade and our budget reflects that unlike the confused Tory proposal which seeks to reconcile their party's rigid support for Thatcherism on one hand and the recession and suffering Thatcherism has created on the other. Our budget revitalizes the social security programs which have been mercilessly starved of proper funding during the last 11 years of Tory governance by committing nearly £25 billion - £6 billion more that the Tories have - in real aid to those suffering in the midst of recession than the Tories were willing to allot. On families, our budget doubles existing social security benefits - and unlike the Tories, Labour are committed to doubling each of the three family benefits from last year's raw total - that means, for example that economic anxiety won't have to cross a mother's mind as they seek to give the best foundation for their newborn. If Myerscough and his team want to direct their newfound outrage regarding the state of social security programs for the most vulnerable somewhere, I'd suggest they reflect on the budget votes they made time and time again in the past decade and perhaps apologize for the needless cruelty of their cuts as opposed to half-hearted attacks on a shadow budget that, frankly, goes much farther than theirs.

Further, I'm very proud of the steps our budget takes in not only protecting jobs that are threatened throughout Britain because of the failure of the Tories' economic project but also our commitment to make those jobs better for the people who do the work that makes our country run, by converting business at risk of failing into democratic workplaces that will feature higher pay and benefits for the many and unleash the collaborative potential of our workforce. This is just one step in what will be a Labour Government's comprehensive strategy to restore our industry, creating good-paying, quality jobs that will serve as the backbone of a 21st Century economy built to meet the needs of the many. I'm also pleased that Labour are committed to fulfilling Nye Bevan's dream of a truly universal NHS by scrapping prescription fees which disproportionately harm the many. As someone who relies on public transport to get where I need to go, I'm thrilled that Labour will universalize bus service by eliminating fares throughout Britain when in government, a policy that will free families to spend the money which would have otherwise been sunk into transport on meeting their needs and self-actualizing. While the Tories are offering a confused economic message, not knowing to what extent they are willing to break with the dark days of Thatcher, Labour's position is quite clear as evidenced by our budget proposal - we will fight for a better, fairer economy where economic gains don't concentrate into the hands of the few, but instead uplift the broad majority in our country so that the 21st Century can be one in which all enjoy the pleasures of life, not just the wealthy and powerful.
Tommy Dawson
MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Deputy Leader of Labour (1990-Present), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 7 XP. Media Darling, Campaign Guru
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