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Press Cycle #29 - The Budget
#1
"Will the budget be a positive thing for Britain?"

Closes 11:59 17/04/18

Bolden your tagline.
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#2
The BBC has reported that this budget is being seen as a target on the rich. It is not just a target on the rich, but on our doctors. I admit that those who have a huge income should be asked to pay more than the rest of us, but the government is now imposing a 50% higher rate of tax, up from 40%. Whilst I disagree that the top rate of tax should be anywhere near 50%, I understand why many people will support such a move, especially if they are in poverty or on a low income. 

However, this new top rate of tax of 50% is not a tax on the super rich. It is a tax on anybody earning over £35,000 per year - and that includes our very own doctors. Doctors previously were paying 40% tax, they are now being forced to pay 50% tax.

Do not let the Chancellor and the Government fool you. This tax increase is hitting people on a moderate wage, even when we take into account their wage increases. 

Rather than admit that the current surplus is unattainable in the long-run, when ran in this manner, rather than admit that difficukt decisions need to be made, unpopular decisions, to keep our economy strong and our finances sound, the government have settled for a pre-election giveaway that reduces economic growth, raises inflation and unemployment just so they can get five more years in power.

The true consequence of this short-term, short-sighted, pre-election giveaway is that our doctors are being forced to pay the 50% rate of tax - they deserve better.
MP For Hexham 1987 -
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#3
This is budget that stands on a footing of surplus. The Chancellor has delivered investment that is fairly distributed across our services with a focus on what is important to people namely health, education, defence and support for those who need it.

The Chancellor has knocked it out of the park. 90% of people will pay less income tax, more money for schools and hospitals, increased welfare and investment in our defence. If people who are better off following this budget vote Labour, then don't bother counting the votes, just weigh them.
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#4
Doctors will pay 50% tax rates!
MP For Hexham 1987 -
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#5
This Budget is a budget that prioritises the people over the super-rich, this Government's income tax reforms will see 90% of the population pay less income tax over the next twelve months than they did in the previous 12. The Tories may want to stand up for their super-rich friends but the fact of the matter is we are investing more in education, more in health and more in the justice system without eating into our Budget surplus. The Labour Party brings compassionate spending policy with fair taxation policy and a balanced approach to safeguard our finances. This May the choice is simple, the choice is Labour.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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#6
The Chancellor can talk about the super-rich as much as he likes. Somebody earning just over £35,000 is not super rich by any definition. Both he and the government are refusing to answer why they are classing doctors, the very people who treat, cure, heal and save us, as the super-rich. The rest of the country do not consider doctors to be super-rich. Labour normally say that we hate the NHS and its staff, yet when we stick up for the doctors who will be forced to pay 50% tax rates, we are accused of supporting our "super-rich" "friends". 
MP For Hexham 1987 -
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#7
The Tories are out in full force looking out for their rich friends rather than the 90% of the population who will pay less tax under this Budget. If you earn the average wage for this country then you will pay a full 2% less of your income in income tax, that is almost the same as taking inflation out of the economy for you. The Tories are opposing the removal of subsidies on private health and education, subsidies which overwhelmingly support the rich and the affluent. The Tories are opposing an increase in Inheritance Tax, a tax that the majority of us will never have to pay in any substantial way. The Tories are opposing a small increase in the top rate of Capital Gains Tax, a tax many of us will never have to pay and a rate that only the very richest have to pay. Their message is ringing loud and clear, the Tories are only interested in looking after the top 10%, Labour are looking out for the entire country, whether they be rich or poor.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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#8
I'm very proud of the budget the Chancellor has put forward. It speaks to his work that this budget delivers a tax cut for 90% of the country, invests in our public services, and still offers a surplus on the bottom line. This is a positive step forward, and I think a strong reminder to the British public of what a Labour government offers to the average person in this country.
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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#9
The Prime Minister wants people to believe that the Conservative Party is only interested in the top 10% of earners - the plan we have published today for the next Parliament shows that it is only the Conservative Party talking about how we open the opportunities in our economy to all. I have one message for this Labour Government: this is a budget of wrong priorities which sets people against each other rather than offers Britain a vision of the country it can be. While Labour want to pursue ideological tax rises, a Conservative Government will reduce the tax burden overall, open opportunities and support young families by radically reforming stamp duty and introducing a new Rent to Buy Scheme.
Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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#10
The Chancellor's budget sends a message to all Britons that Labour is out to punish your hard work; under this Labour government, doctors, other NHS staff and many in the public sector will all be losing out. 

His budget frankly smacks of tokenism and pandering. It's always easy for the Labour Party to scapegoat 'the rich', but what that really means is that they want us to remain in the neat little social hierarchy they've set out for us. It's a downright preposterous situation we've been put in, and the only way out is to vote for a sensible, level-headed and robust Conservative government.

This Labour government is smothering the British dream of individual success through hard work -- it's a travesty, and the only way their anti-British agenda can be put to a stop is by voting Conservative in May.
David Crawford MP 

MP for Reading West 1997 -
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#11
With their new Shadow Budget the Tories have abandoned any idea of fiscal stability and paying down our debts, they have abandoned the surplus left to them by Brown and Manning and instead pushed unsustainable deficit spending. The Tories preach fiscal responsibility yet in their 18 years in office they ran two budget surpluses, in our 5 years in office we have run four consecutive budget surpluses, three of which have been larger than either of the Tory surpluses. If you don't want to see the public finances pushed towards unsustainable cuts to balance the books in five years time you have got to vote Labour to see fairer taxes, more investment in our public services and a balanced budget

Elizabeth Atwood's Shadow Budget has laid the all important question to bed, who values the working and middle classes more? It's Labour. Our Budget cut taxes for millions, the bottom 90% of the population in fact, the Tories would cut taxes on the working and middle classes less in order to fund a tax cut for the rich and the top 10%. It is clear that the Tories only view tax cuts for the poor as a justification for tax cuts to the rich.

If you or the people you love are on welfare then there is only one choice for you to make in May, the Tories want to freeze Welfare in real terms to try and force what they see as a nation of slackers back to work. Labour recognises that not only is it not always possible for those on Welfare to get a job, but that in many cases it is physically impossible for them to do any form of labour, so to protect welfare recipients we raised welfare by more than inflation. The Tories are on the side of the rich, the powerful and big oil, they look down on those on welfare, those in the working classes and those in the middle classes. In May don't waste your vote, tell the Tories were to go.

If the Tories come to power then I sure hope you don't live in a less affluent region of the country. As a Welshman I have seen first hand what the Regional Development Agencies can do to transform a local economy blighted by the closure of the mines or other economic trauma, that is why in the Budget I elected to give them 5% more spending power to change lives. The Tories on the other hand don't care about you if you're not already rich and have chosen to cut funding to this vital programme by 20%. If you live in the North, Wales, the Midlands, Cornwall, Scotland and so many more places you are being given the middle finger by this Tory Opposition, your vote is being taken for granted. In May don't let them keep doing this, don't let it become government policy for the strong to survive and the weak to economically die. Vote Labour this May so the less affluent regions have a chance at a new beginning.

The Tories talk a good game on unemployment, but like their talk about the budget surplus it is just a load of hot air. In their Shadow Budget they had a chance to unveil new investments in our unemployed people up and down the country to help get them back on their feet, instead they chose to kick them down below and leave them to it. The Budget increases New Deal, Job Centre and Employment Tribunal funding by 10%, the Shadow Budget freezes the Job Centres and Employment Tribunals (a real terms cut) and offers only a pittance to the New Deal (over £100mn less than Labour offered up). If you are unemployed then you simply cannot afford to buy the hype and the rhetoric of the Tory Party, they don't care about the unemployed, they just see a political bandwagon to jump on, then discard when you've served your purpose.

Having spent so long talking about public sector pay and how the Government's settlement of 3.8% is "not enough" the Tories have gone and matched it. So which is it Ms Atwood? Were you lying to the public about what constitutes adequate pay? Or do you feel that it is inadequate and that our public services aren't worth a strong pay rise? The Budget provides for an increase in pay delivered with a 3.8% pay rise and an increase in pay received with the average 2% cut in the amount of income paid in income tax on the Basic Rate, the Tories are not only failing to deliver this, they gleefully complain about it on the one hand and then give out less with the other. The Tories would sell our public sector workers short, and they're being found out about it now.

The Tory Party's investment in our NHS may look like it's the bees knees but when you lift up the bonnet you'll see that it's really not all there. In their Shadow Budget they pledge 10,000 new hospital beds, where will they go? In their Shadow Budget they pledge 50 new clinics, Labour beat that pledge by 50% and outspent them on capital investment. The Tories want to centralise the NHS where Labour wants to give local people more say, the Tories are underfunding commissioning grants to achieve just that (Labour spend £175mn more on them). The Tories are stuffing hospitals that are already running at capacity with more beds and more staff irrespective of whether or not those hospitals can hold them because it looks politically pleasing. Labour took the decision to build more capacity rather than stretching our existing capacity to breaking point. I hope this Summer is warm and dry because under this Tory Shadow Budget they would have beds set up in the hospital gardens not in the wards themselves.

Having said that the Budget doesn't employ enough teachers and doesn't pay them enough the Tory Shadow Budget has gone on to abandon the schools of this nation, they hired fewer teachers than the actual Budget and gave them a lower pay rise when tax changes are factored in. The Tories are not getting real about the education of this nation, they would under-fund, under-invest and under-staff our education system till it is on the brink of collapse. If you have children in school then it is clear that a vote for the Conservative Party is not only a vote for fewer schools (Labour builds three times as many primary schools and 20% more secondary schools), it's a vote for fewer teachers, less maintenance and a lower standard of education. The Tories have rejected families and young people in favour of the rich and big oil, reject them at the ballot box this May.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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#12
For all of Atwood's snark about wrong priorities, the proposals hidden within the Tory budget are mind-boggling. It would leave us less secure domestically and internationally with their option to strip international development and rehabilitation funding: these are long-term, cost-effective means for us to eliminate poverty and the causes of crime and terrorism, while the Conservatives are seeking costly, quick wins before an election. In their easy promise giveaway, the Tory budget saddles the UK with another £3 billion in debt. Their budget is the pinnacle of show without the substance that actually makes our country safer, our society more inclusive, or our economy stronger in the long term.
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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#13
To the Tories foreign policy is all about the barrel of the gun, they would hire tens of thousands more soldiers whilst cutting our foreign aid budget and under-funding other critical diplomatic channels. The BBC World Service is a great example of British soft power, as is our foreign aid budget, with these tools we can spread democracy and affluence to the World so that they won't pick up weapons to fight each other, or our troops. As if that wasn't bad enough the Tories spend millions hiring more troops, but they spend less than the Government on procurement and maintenance. Not only do the Tories not understand the principle of well-rounded and balanced foreign policy, they would send our troops on overseas missions with less maintained equipment of a lower standard than the Government would. In their attempt to chase a good headline the Tories have completely abandoned credible foreign policy, but worse than that they have completely abandoned the armed forces as well.

When it comes to the Home Office the Tory Shadow Budget may look nice and proactive, they hire 13,000 coppers for example, but under the surface we see a party devoid of direction that would leave the Home Office on life support. The Tories under-fund equipment and building maintenance relative to Labour, procurement relative to Labour, immigration services relative to Labour and our prisons and rehabilitation relative to Labour. Think about what that means for the future of British policing. Our bobbies would have substandard equipment, stored in crumbling police stations. Our immigration services will not have the funding to properly man our borders, nor investigate the incursions of illegal migrants, nor the proper funding to deal with legal migrants. Our jails will be under supplied and over demanded thanks to them building fewer cells and having less rehabilitation expenditure. When it comes to the Home Office and our rule of law the choice is clearly Labour. The Tories have no clue, no plan and no hope.

In his speech to the House of Commons Mr Saxon made reference to the Rough Sleeping Unit, he called it "under-funded" by Labour's plans and said the Tories would tackle homelessness better. Well he has been exposed as a liar and a conman because the Rough Sleeping unit gets half the funding increase under the Tories that it gets under Labour. But it's not just that. Almost every aspect of housing in the UK is given more funding by the Labour Government than it would be under the Tories. We will build more houses, we will give Local Government more money to subsidise house building and we will subsidise rent more to tackle homelessness. The Tory plan on housing is clearly to lie a lot and hope nobody notices, at best they have no plan.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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#14
Here goes Labour again burdening our bobbies with more centralized, paper pushing bureaucracy that prevents our police officers from doing what we hired them to do; catch bad guys and hold them accountable. Tories recognize that big government bureaucracy does not make us safer. Filling out forms in quadruplicate do not prevent disorderly conduct or knife crimes. Tories want to hire more officers and provide more funding to our peace officers than Labour with fewer strings attached because we believe that the police know how to do their job. So let us politicians get out of the way so the real experts can do their job. That's the difference between the Tories and Labour. One believes that the British people are competent enough to do the job they're hired for and one believes that the people are so incompetent they need a Government hand holder. 
Philip Porter
MP for Orkney and Shetlands (1983-Present)
Leader of the Liberal Democrats (1992-Present)
Liberal Democrats Spokesman for the Treasury (1992)



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#15
The Shadow Home Secretary dismisses giving our bobbies on the beat the proper equipment, building more jail cells to lock up the bad guys and spending more on rehabilitation to cut down on re-offenders as "bureaucracy". It is clear that the Shadow Home Secretary either doesn't have a clue what the word bureaucracy means or he doesn't care about our justice system beyond the populist potential of out-hiring Labour in terms of manpower. Either way he needs to educate himself properly and come clean to the public that the Government's budget is better for police, better for rehabilitation and better for the public who will be kept safer by our investments.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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#16
The Shadow Budget implements our agenda for Britain – a strong, competitive economy geared for growth and full employment, but also an economy which creates opportunities equally accessible to all. That is why would utilise in our first year in office the flexibility we have in the public finances and low interest rates to invest in critical infrastructure that will build the modern economy for the future. The Labour scaremongering over debt is inaccurate: the Shadow Budget maintains over a £15bn surplus in the budget for day to day spending. Britain will only succeed if we take the radical decisions now to rebalance our economy. Labour’s approach is to tell us all will be well if we increase income tax – that is precisely the route that will take Britain further away from meeting the challenges of a modern economy. We must attract the brightest and the best and back ambition and talent – not tax it. We must make it easier for business to hire and grow, not tax it. We must open the doors of opportunity to everyone – to get a job, get training, see deprived communities transformed, public services which deliver for them and to buy a home of their own. Labour’s ideological approach to the economy offers only a divisive vision which sets people against each other and tells us wealth is the problem. We have set out a clear, united vision that ensures everyone shares in the benefits of the economy – no matter where you come from, your race, age, gender or background, a Conservative government would back you.

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The Chancellor says it is “populist” for the Conservative Party to set out proposals which would see more police on the beat under a Tory government as opposed to a Labour one. I call it common sense. Under this Labour government, we have seen time and time again that the rights of the criminal are prioritised over the support for victims. That is what Labour’s approach to anti-trafficking legislation showed, and we see it now in this attack on our sensible proposals which would see 13,000 more police on the street – 3,000 more than Labour – to deal with the threats we face. We are living in an uncertain world and, as I set out in my speech, our security as a nation must be prioritised if we are to ensure our economic security. That is why we have committed more money to our intelligence services than Labour too. Labour can call it populist to be tough on crime, but I call it the duty of good government.

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The Chancellor has promised that a Labour government will build more homes – but what the Chancellor says, and what the Chancellor does are two different things. He fails to recognise that house building is not enough – we need to open up the opportunity of home ownership to all. That is why we have set out radical proposals to overhaul stamp duty so that no one buying a home for less than £150,000 will pay any tax at all – limiting the tax on the most expensive properties and lifting the overwhelming majority of first time buyers from paying it altogether. In addition to that, we have set out ambitious new proposals to expand the Right to Buy and introduce a new scheme to Rent to Buy in the next Parliament – backing people, no matter what their circumstances, to take that step towards home ownership.

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The Labour scaremongering over the Shadow Budget tells us only one thing: the Labour Party is running scared. He has said that a Tory government would send troops on missions with a lower standard of equipment – this is false and such scaremongering is unbecoming of his office. We proposed significant new spending on military equipment and more troops to recognise the new threats that we face. The Chancellor criticises us for proposing that more soldiers be recruited than he has made provision for, failing to recognise the dangerous times we are living in. He has criticised us for cutting international aid to redirect funding to backing our troops: he might think that it is sensible to assign more than £5bn to the international aid budget, but I think that money is better spent bolstering our armed forces, cutting taxes for people and business and investing in the future of the economy.

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If we needed more evidence that the Home Secretary is weak on security, today she delivered it. She tells us that the Shadow Budget would leave Britain “less secure domestically and internationally”. The Shadow Budget shows how we would take the first steps to build the economy I have spoken about which is not only strong, but creates opportunities which are equally accessible to all. She says Britain would be less secure domestically under the Shadow Budget, I would suggest she take a closer look at the commitments we would make to the Home Office – more police than Labour, more law enforcement staff and more funding for our intelligence services. She says the Shadow Budget would leave us less secure internationally because it redirects foreign aid to other priorities, such as our troops – she is misguided. We have proposed increasing the number of troops – more than what this government proposes – to tackle the new threats we face. We have proposed significant new investment for foreign intelligence operations so that protection at home is prioritised. We have proposed significant new funding for military equipment – a year on year increase over the course of the next Parliament too. We have also proposed more money for our diplomatic services too to represent Britain on the international stage in uncertain times. I will take no lectures from the Home Secretary when it comes to domestic and international security – she might think international aid is the solution to domestic and international security, but this shows just how out of touch this government is.

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The Chancellor’s budget shows that the NHS is not a priority for this government. His feeble attack on the Conservative proposals to implement the NHS Lock – a 10% increase in the NHS budget in years 1 and 2 of the next Parliament – shows that the NHS will not be a priority if Labour are to be re-elected. The proposals we have set out commits significant new investment in the NHS over the next Parliament – including a doubling in the social care budget to deal with the challenges of an ageing population and ensuring dignity in old age. We have also set out that we would consult and publish in the first year of the next Parliament a plan for social care so that long term goals are set down to deal with long term challenges. While Labour have no plan for social care, with meagre commitments to funding, the Conservatives are stepping up to the challenge because if we must ensure that we tackle our big challenges and that everyone shares in the benefits of a strong economy.

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The Chancellor wants to deal in ideological battles, but I am interested only in delivering for Britain. He has criticised the Shadow Budget for setting out a radical vision to reduce the tax burden across the board – we have made commitments to give a tax cut to every hardworking family so that everyone – no matter what their background – shares in the benefits of a growing economy. But we have also taken on the challenges that our economy will face in the future to be competitive and attract and retain jobs. We only have to consider the recent case of manufacturing jobs in Dagenham to recognise that the economy under Labour is not delivering for everyone. That is why we have pledged to have the lowest corporate tax rates of the G8, to reduce corporation tax across the board and abolish the starting rate, delivering real help for businesses who want to expand and grow. We have also committed to publishing a Manufacturing Growth Plan in the first year of the next Parliament which will set out a strategy for ensuring Britain is the place to set up business for firms in the manufacturing industry. It is also why we would cut national insurance for firms to create new jobs, while Labour’s response to unemployment increasing is to slap a new jobs tax on companies. Labour think wealth and business is a dirty word, but we recognise it is the solution to the growth of our economy.

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Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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#17
The Shadow Chancellor talks about investing in infrastructure for the future, what utter drivel. The Government's Budget beats the Shadow Budget in investment in:


Quote:
  • Regional Development Agencies by £288mn, spreading investment across the country, interestingly the Tories chose to cut this spending which shows you what their investment looks like
  • Nuclear Research and Renewable Energy by £25mn, investing in our growing renewable energy industry, again the Tories chose to cut funding to renewables
  • Employment Services by £213mn, investing in people and enabling them to be better trained for their future jobs and careers, the Tories froze spending on job centres condemning millions to unemployment
  • Our NHS' capital by £600mn and 25 new hospitals, building up the NHS' capacity to account for growing demographics and population, the Tories just want to try and fit more beds into existing capacity
  • Primary Schools by £800mn and 180 new Primary Schools, investing in the future of our country now, whilst they are young, not only did the Tories not build as many schools as we did, they also hired fewer teachers
  • Secondary Schools by £300mn and 20 new Secondary School, again investing in the future of our country now, again the Tories promised more teachers and delivered fewer
  • University Subsidies by £280mn when you account for all the subsidies, the Labour Party invests more in University Research, University Running Costs and Widening Participation. Labour believe education is a right, the Tories clearly believe education is a privilege
  • Armed Forces Maintenance and Procurement by £191mn, it isn't right that we should ask our troops to risk their lives without giving them the very best equipment, the Tories want more soldiers but want them to be less well equipped, talk about getting your priorities in a muddle
  • Police Equipment and Building Maintenance and Procurement by £27mn, because Labour believes in giving our police the very best equipment and facilities money can buy
  • Immigration Services by £30mn, because Labour recognises the importance of secure borders and quick processing of visa and citizenship applications
  • Prison Capacity by £112mn and 1500 places, building up our prison capacity so that we can actually incarcerate our law breakers
  • Rehabilitation by £28mn because the Tories don't seem to understand the importance of making sure that your criminals don't leave jail only to commit a new crime and wind up right back where they started
  • Housing by £147mn when all things are considered, despite the Shadow Chancellor's protestations otherwise it is the Government that have invested more money into Housing this Budget season, increasing supply rather than fiddling with demand.


When we consult the list of investments made in the two budgets we can see clear as day that the Government are out-investing the Tories in every meaningful way in terms of infrastructure for our public services. The Tories can pretend to be investing more than the Labour Party but the Government are investing more in Education, Hospitals, the Home Office and Housing. The Tory promises just don't match up to the Labour record.

The Tories can pretend to be on the side of coppers all they want but at the end of the day all they're doing is chasing down billboard space. Yes they hired more police but those police would have lower quality equipment, be placed in less well maintained buildings, would be chasing down more criminals than ever before and have fewer jail cells to put them in when caught and prosecuted. The Tory plan does not include the record high levels of investment in procurement, maintenance or rehabilitation, and it doesn't match the Labour investment in new prison places. The Tories are weak on crime and they are weak on the causes of crime, only Labour can be relied upon to keep Britain's streets safe.

The Shadow Chancellor's message on housing is as confusing as it is last-minute. He claims that I said the Government will build more homes, I did. Then he complains that we actually did it all whilst wrapping it up with a nice little "he doesn't mean what he says" line. Excuse me? I said the Government will build more homes, the Government is providing the money to build more homes and providing more money for local governments to build more homes on top of that. Plans to shift around the levies on Stamp Duty may look good on an election billboard but they are sticking plaster solutions. To get on the Housing Ladder people need affordable homes on every rung, the best way to ensure that happens is to get out there and build the homes yourself. The Labour plan does this far more and far more effectively than the Tory plan, I am not here to make billboard pledges, I'm here to make a difference to people's lives.

The Tory commitments to foreign policy spending are a joke. They hire more troops than Labour do but they set them up with less maintenance and less money for equipment (both per soldier AND in absolute terms), they ignore some of Britain's greatest international tools in our soft power, and then they go and cut foreign aid. Foreign Aid may be a dirty concept to the Tories but in reality it exists to develop the World, not only safeguarding the World's population whilst attempting to protect the environment but also raising their standards of living to lift them out of terrorism and abject poverty. By cutting our international aid budget, and funding the armed forces less completely than the Government is, the Tory Party would indeed be setting our foreign policy decisions up for disaster. It's not scaremongering if it's the truth Shadow Chancellor.

The Tory plan for the NHS may seem cute and cuddly but it is in fact dangerously short sighted. They have decided to purchase 10,000 extra beds without any thought as to where these beds will go. With Labour we know exactly where everything is going to go because we are building 75 new hospitals as phase one of our plan to expand the NHS' capacity to every corner of the United Kingdom. We are investing in the NHS' capital to ensure that it is fit for purpose into the rest of this century and we are investing into local councils across the country so that they can better target NHS funding to the areas it needs to go. The Tories may like to pretend that they have a credible plan for the NHS, but they can't even pretend to be a credible alternative government.

The Shadow Chancellor wants to compare records on unemployment, so let's. In the first five years of Mrs Thatcher's reign unemployment in the United Kingdom rose from just under 6% to just under 12%, in other words it doubled. At no point in the proceeding eighteen years did it ever return to 6%, let alone go under that target. Under this Labour Government we have taken the disastrous economy left to us by the Tories and we have cut unemployment to its lowest rate since the start of the third Wilson Administration. So when the Tories talk about Dagenham one only has to consider Wales, Yorkshire, Scotland, Cornwall, the Midlands, in fact pretty much the entire UK to see what life would be like were Atwood in my shoes today. This Government is investing in education, employment services and adult retraining programmes to ensure that the Dagenham situation doesn't escalate like it did under Mrs Thatcher's rule. On top of that the Government is giving more money to the Welfare State to ensure that the unemployed do not suffer as they suffered in the 80s and 90s. The Tories may try and weaponise the unemployed and the 'down on their luck', Labour is more concerned about getting them back on their feet than back on a billboard.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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#18
On foreign affairs, we see the Government pumping £1.75 billion additional pounds into international aid alone, while investing a mere £1.5 in military spending across the board. Just after announcing that British forces would be deployed to Afghanistan to combat the very real threat posed by the Taliban, they invested just over £700 million in additional pay for our regular troops who are going to be putting their life on the line.

At a time when British troops are being sent into action halfway across the world, the Government is putting more new investment into foreign aid than our armed forces. This doesn't strike me as sound foreign policy. In our increasingly dangerous world, the military shouldn't play second fiddle to international aid in the priorities of Her Majesty's Government.
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#19
Exclamation 
Let's make this quite clear, this budget that the Chancellor has delivered is bad for Britain. The budget is an attack on businesses and employers. Even the CBI was disappointed at their decision to raise NI contributions for employers

We should be helping business such as cutting corporation tax like we did in our Shadow Budget , through our pro business policies the Conservatives are the party for Businesses. 
James Allen

MP for Leeds Central

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#20
This Budget will be good for business in the long term. In this Budget we are investing record amounts in education, retraining and skills to produce a workforce 100% up to the task of furthering Britain as an economic powerhouse. Future budgets will be able to address future concerns but for this Budget the priority was about getting Britain ready to meet those future concerns head on. That means responsible fiscal policy with a surplus, fairer taxes lifting the burden for many, and investment in our public services. That is exactly what this Budget is for the people.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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