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PC8 - Budget
Recently my friend the Shadow Chancellor released the Labour Party’s hopeful and optimistic vision for a better, fairer Britain opposed to the tragic reality for Britain of this cruel and callous Conservative government.

The Conservative Party’s budget is an admission, clear as day, that Thatcherism has failed the United Kingdom. We are facing a recession and it’s down to the lack of investment into our country under the Conservative government since 1979. The Conservative Party are trying to offer a quick, short term fix to the problem our society has faced under their government. The problems of poverty and mass inequality will never leave while we have a Conservative government in power with tax cuts to the rich, shifting the burden onto the rest. And this small injection of investment doesn’t even make up for their cuts which they backed again and again, hitting the poorest the hardest!

We cannot and will not stand for it!

Labour is offering a long term solution to the problems we face as a country. Moving us forward into the 21st century with investment into modernisation of our country as well as making a society that works for the many, not the privileged few who are given tax handouts by their Conservative chums year after year.

The Labour Party is putting forward investment for tomorrow by giving our children the opportunities then need to thrive today! We are offering to build 125 new Schools so that we don’t have understaffed, overcrowded schools and investment into buying equipment. We are offering to hire 15,000 new teachers and 6,000 new Teaching Assistants to make sure children get the individual attention they need to learn and grow. We are offering a 25% increase in investment per pupil from last year’s budget and increasing grants to higher education!
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
If we want to talk about "pandering," which was the short-lived attempt of the Labour Party to discredit a budget that was designed to help the economy, then we need only to look to what Labour is saying is their bold new vision for the future of Britain. Labour's budget isn't a bold vision- it's a publicity stunt; they couldn't even be bothered to put it up in Parliament, and their press statements are just "look at how much MORE we're doing!" The fact is Labour has made it now as plain as day they don't have any idea what our economy needs right now, and certainly no plans on making sure they have the capacity to deliver.

The fact is that people need relief. The Government's budget does this: we're returning £500 pounds to every ratepayer in the United Kingdom by introducing a new lower band of tax designed to help those in need. We're providing a moratorium on the poll tax while we put in place our replacement, again helping to cut the costs for those in need the most. And unlike Labour, we're amping up benefits and programs designed to help lower-income families, families with children, and the unemployed through benefits, through skills investments, and through our Family Hub program that will help lift children and families out of poverty by providing for basic needs. I'm surprised Labour didn't bother copying that in their pandering budget- as they saw fit to copy most everything else.

And in terms of relief, only the Government has put forward a massive fund to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure and businesses facing default. Labour doesn't have any of that nearly on the level that we do: £13 billion in the next year to literally keep people in their homes and to keep businesses open. This Government has responsible, effective measures that will have real results. Labour straight-up does not. And that's all you need to know about who to trust in this economic situation.
This budget is clearly a step in the right direction, however, it poses some existential questions for the Conservative Party. Abolishing the Poll Tax, cutting Income Tax for the poorest, and £300 million to rural areas - frankly, this could all have come out of the Liberal Democrat manifesto! This is why I think this budget poses questions. I ask the Conservatives who have loyally obeyed Mrs Thatcher's every word for a decade - what was the point, if you're willing to undo it all? I have no issue with having wets run the show. My party is pretty sodden itself. But frankly, I just feel astonished. Britain and British people have been made to suffer under years of Conservative neglect, in the interests of a blind ideological pursuit of free markets and raw, pure, capitalism. If the Tories can abandon their supposed core principles overnight, then why have they made the public, especially our poorest and most isolated, suffer so much?
I'm glad to have the endorsement of the Liberal Democrats with this Government's budget, but their criticisms also drastically shows how out-of-touch they are. The fact is the decisions made by Countess Thatcher were needed- and still are an important part of moves to ensure that Britain can remain a dynamic, growing economy rather than the sick man of Europe that it was when Conservatives came to power in 1979. And this recent budget is far from the "u-turn" that Labour or that the silent, ineffective Liberal Democrats want it to be.

Of course there are those that are hurting and suffering now- and unlike the Liberal Democrats who are worried about ramblers, this Government is doing what we can to provide them with meaningful, lasting relief. Lower taxes that will return £500 pounds to every ratepayer in the United Kingdom this year alone and that will remain low to let workers keep more of that they earn. Benefits to the recently and the long-term unemployed to make sure they can meet their needs and have the freedom to find newer opportunities with a helping hand. Economic investments to keep people in their homes and keep businesses open. None of these things are wildly out of step with Countess Thatcher's policies- policies which have made Britain more prosperous and more productive than a couple more rambling paths ever well.

We're in a time where unique situations are hurting businesses, consumers, investors, families, and workers. This Government is doing the right thing by helping. If the Liberal Democrats are upset that we're not sticking to some imagined orthodoxy, that's their problem- but this Government is more focused on those who need the attention right now.
The cynical, cyclical pattern of Tory economic mismanagement continues. This budget represents nothing new or a change but another ring around the wheel of poll-driven extreme monetarism. Whenever the Tories are in trouble in the polls, they spend and plug gaps in public spending. When they're secure again, they continue to hack away and starve the economy of investment.

This budget is not part of a grand plan or strategy, it is a reaction and like all previous reactions, the Tories will undoubtedly lurch back once the polling numbers rise again. They offer no long-term solutions to poverty or unemployment in this country, only to throw short-term cash at them when they feel the need to and then make the public pay the consequences later down the line.
Gruffydd Rhys Morrison MP
Labour and Cooperative
Member for Easington \ Shadow Regions Secretary
Biography  | XP: 5 | Traits: Safe pair of hands
Issue Champion: Britain’s place in the world
It is worth noting that virtually every political party other than Labour has acknowledge that the Chancellor's budget is a positive, meaningful response to the global recession Britain is facing. Labour's argument against our budget has nothing to do with policy or substance; they simply oppose it because it's a budget being proposed by a Conservative Government! Our budget is doing everything Labour has talked about doing when it comes to investing in public services, but that they never actually had the authority to do. We're investing millions more in education and support for families. We're hiring more doctors and nurses, and building more hospitals and clinics. Critically, unlike Labour that would increase taxes on virtually every worker in our country, we're cutting taxes to ensure that hardworking British people keep more of what they earn. 

This budget is a positive, exciting, compelling investment in the British people. It is a sign to the global community that Britain is open for business. And most importantly, it's a commitment to ensure that we as a nation whether this global recession together, and that we make it out on the other side stronger together.
While I'm glad that the Tories have finally started listening to Labour's arguments about the need to abandon Thatcherism--I fear this budget is too little, too late. A decade ago, this might have been the budget the UK needed--but now we are dealing with the consequences of over a decade of disastrous Tory policies that has left our economy in shambles, unemployment at all time highs, and income inequality at some of of its highest levels at its history. If the Tories wish to truly undo the disastrous policies of Thatcherism, they should support our Shadow Budget which offers a bold vision to stimulate our economy and set our Kingdom up to succeed in the 21st century. My Constituents deserve better than this Budget, and I look forward to supporting Labour's visionary Shadow Budget to ensure that we focus our efforts on helping the hard working people of Great Britain.
Labour MP for The Wrekin (1987-Present)

Biography | 3 XP | Constituency Appeal | Issue Champion (The Pound)
With the latest economic news that unemployment is on the rise and economic growth is faltering, it's becoming more and more evident that this Government's budget is the right choice. Rather than try to turn this into a debate over Thatcherism, which is all Labour can bother to muster up, this Government is focused on those people who are losing their jobs and those who are at risk in the days and weeks ahead. That's why this Government is increasing unemployment benefits for all those on unemployment- to help make sure their needs are met. That's why this Government is amping up spending for low-income support programmes in the form of direct payments and our new "Family Hub" programme that will help students have access to early education and to support to help them grow and thrive. That's why this Government is adopting an ambitious £13 billion programme to help keep people in their homes and help keep business doors open by purchasing the debt of those most at-risk. And that's why this Government is going to start returning £500 every year to workers as well as put a moratorium on the Community Charge. We'll let Labour have their fun talking about how much they hate Thatcher; this Government is focused instead of providing real relief for those that need it. That's what our budget does. By putting more money into the economy and by targeting those in lower income as this Government has, we're going to make sure that people have the ability to participate in our economy and help put us back on a growth path.
When I ran for Prime Minister, I focused on the fear that families felt when facing the payment of the Community Charge. I recognised that the policy was wrong and harmful for families most. The Budget has abolished the Community Charge, meaning that no one will pay it and will be reimbursed if they have. This means a substantial tax cut for millions of individuals across the country – and no local council will lose out. We will introduce a fairer alternative to fund local authorities, one that protects families and the services they rely on.
As the former Health Secretary, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Chancellor on determine this year's Health budget. Something that has received very little attention in the budget debate thus far is the Government's commitment on funding for HIV-AIDS prevention and research. With this budget, the Government has delivered the single biggest financial commitment to eradicate HIV in British history. The impact of this budget as it relates to HIV-AIDS truly cannot be understated. Last year, the UK Medical Research Council received roughly £15 million dedicated to finding a cure for HIV-AIDS. This year, that number has been raised to a historic, unprecedented £100 million. This Government is putting our money where our mouth is, literally. I could not be more proud of this budget, of this Chancellor, and of this Government.

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