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Kayla_Gray

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  1. Madame Deputy Speaker, As we begin to move away from the pandemic, we face many challenges and opportunities. Challenges, yes, after exiting the worlds largest trade bloc, of our post-pandemic recovery and of the monumental threat of climate change which is not just a threat that we will face in the future, but something we are experiencing right now. But opportunities from the chance to reset after the pandemic and create a new, fairer world, using the lessons we have learnt in recent years to embolden our approach to dealing with the challenges we face. Instead, what we got, was this budget, papering over the cracks with the lines that we expect from a government with no ambition beyond its own self-preservation. This is not a budget that provides the necessary economic basis for the changes our country needs to see, it is a budget aimed at helping out this government’s polling numbers. The Chancellor makes references, firstly, to the forecasts of the Office for Budget Responsibility, bragging on how our economy is set to return to pre-pandemic levels in March and how growth is up. But, after the initial recovery bump in growth, the OBR also shows how we will return to the sluggish growth of just over 1% in 2024, something we have become accustomed to during the previous decade of austerity cuts. As the Chancellor continued, he stated that we will see an increase in real terms spending for every department. Unfortunately, even in 2024, that still leaves many departments worse off than in 2010. As Ben Zoranko of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said, “austerity is over but not undone”. According to the IFS, spending at the Department for Housing & Communities will be over 60% worse off, Transport 25% worse off and Defence 10.4% worse off than in 2010. In education, we will only see a return to 2010 levels by 2024. This is a decade and a half of lost investment in education. That is a disgrace, and it has occurred on the Conservative Party’s watch. But what is even more infuriating is the gall of the Chancellor to claim his is “the party of public services” after 40 years of advocating for cuts, privatisation and deregulation leaving the British people worse off. 1 year of slight spending increases does not make up for 4 decades of failure. But, whilst this budget fails to deliver, we see the British public forking out more in taxes. We currently see the highest level of tax as a percentage of GDP since the 1940s and together in the March and October budgets, the Chancellor has raised taxes more this year than in any single year since the two budgets of 1993 in the aftermath of Black Wednesday. The Shadow Chancellor was absolutely right when she said “never has a Chancellor asked the British people to pay so much for so little”. Not only do we see taxes up and spending on many vital departments still less in real terms than in 2010, but wage growth has also flatlined. The OBR forecast means real wages will be lower in 2026 than they were in 2008. Average wages in 2026 will be around £18. If we instead had continued on the trend of wage growth from 1997 until 2008 then wages would be closer to £30 an hour, a difference of £11.70 an hour. This is not a consequence of the global financial crisis, this is a consequence of the ideological choice to implement austerity after the Conservatives came to power in 2010. It is a consequence of the policies of the party opposite, supported every step of the way by those occupying cabinet jobs now. The final point I want to address is that of the cut to air passenger duty. In the year which we host the climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow, the Chancellor is, instead of being serious about tackling the issue, cutting tax on internal flights. It is a kick in the teeth to people up and down the country who want to see action to tackle the existential threat of climate change, and this shows how little the government actually cares. We are in the last decade we have for the government to take the necessary radical action to evade the worst excesses of climate breakdown. At this point in time, the government should not feel able to do something like this, regardless of the pressure from the aviation lobby. Urgent action is required right now, and the government are not taking that action. Many aviation workers will be understandably worried about their career prospects in a post-carbon, post-fossil fuel economy, but the way to put their concerns at ease is not to bring them closer to climate breakdown. Instead, the government should aiding those workers to retrain and redeploy in alternative sectors of our economy. Instead of internal flights, we should be looking towards train travel as the more sustainable alternative. However, it instead continues to be of poor quality and high prices. This is the great Tory rail rip-off whilst bending to the will of the aviation lobby. Bringing transport into public ownership would allow the government to make public transport cheaper for working people whilst also allowing it to be planned and delivered for public good not private profit. If the Chancellor really wants an “infrastructure revolution” as more than just a soundbite, then he should actually take the necessary action to bring about a green infrastructural and industrial revolution. Instead, the Chancellor panders to the climate-sceptics and small-state Thatcherites in his party as he prepares for a leadership run. To close, Madame Deputy Speaker, this budget is not only a missed opportunity to bring our economy and our country forward, it actively hurts our efforts to combat the climate crisis whilst not even reversing the worst cuts of austerity that we saw in the decade of Conservative government before the pandemic. This is not even “too little too late”, it is an act of sabotage against our country and future generations.
  2. Hackney South & Shoreditch plz
  3. Kayla_Gray

    Kayla Gray

    Name: Kayla Gray Avatar: Caroline Konstnar Date of Birth: 4th August 1996 Sex: Female Marital Status: Single Sexual Orientation: Openly Bisexual Party: Labour Political Outlook: Momentum (also close ties to SCG obviously) Constituency: Hackney South & Shoreditch Year Elected: 2019 Education: University College London, studied History Career: Young Labour and RLB staffer Political Career: MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch (2019-), Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs (2020) Bio: Kayla Gray was born on August 4th 1996 in Islington, London. She is the oldest of three children, with her two brothers aged nineteen and seventeen. Kayla’s family has lived in Islington all her life, with her mother being a nurse originally from Sweden and her father a police officer who was originally from Dublin. Kayla’s family were financially comfortable enough to get by but were by no means wealthy. Aged 7, she attended the anti-Iraq invasion march in London on February 15th 2003, being carried on her father’s shoulders. Kayla attended a local comprehensive school in Islington. In school, she took a strong interest in the humanities subjects from a young age and enjoyed English. At GCSE her highest grades were in History, French, Geography and English. At A-Level she chose to study Politics, Economics and History, achieving an AAB in her final examinations with the B coming in economics. She subsequently went on to study history at university. Whilst Kayla’s first political experience was the STWC march in 2003, she first became actively politically engaged in her early teen years, joining the Labour Party in 2011. Subsequently, she became a very active member of the Islington North CLP, where her views were formed to that of a more left-wing persuasion within the party. As well as being involved in campaign events and social activities in the community, Kayla also does charity work in her local community, namely volunteering at her nearest foodbank. Kayla also worked in a local theatre whilst studying at university. Kayla supported Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership in 2015, claiming on Twitter that Labour needs a “radical, progressive, socialist path to power to revolutionise Britain in favour of the working people, not the rich elites”. She did not vote for any of the final five deputy leadership candidates. Kayla supported remaining in the EU in order to reform, but following the referendum result, believed that the decision to leave should be honoured. However, she would later go on to support a confirmatory second referendum. During the chicken coup in 2016, Kayla referred to those working against Corbyn as “traitors and snakes trying to deliberately undermine the electoral chances of a Labour Party true to its principles” on Twitter. When Corbyn won his second landslide victory, Kayla called the result a “crushing defeat for the Blairites and saboteurs” In January 2017, Kayla began to work at Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency office where she worked before being appointed as a staffer by Young Labour NEC Rep Lara McNeil in 2018, she worked in this post until February 2019 when she was appointed as a staffer to Rebecca Long-Bailey as Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary. In 2019, she was selected as the Labour candidate for the Hackney South & Shoreditch constituency, which she won in the December 2019 General Election, a night she described as “greatly disappointing and a huge missed opportunity for our country”. In the January 2020 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, Kayla was appointed Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs, an area she had covered whilst working for Long-Bailey. In the 2020 Labour leadership election, Gray nominated and endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon. Following the election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader, she resigned from her ministerial post. Following Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report and subsequent expulsion from the Labour Party, Kayla said “Jeremy’s statement was poorly worded but it was absolutely not grounds for him to be removed from the party” and also called upon Corbyn to “more clearly apologise for the mismanagement of the antisemitism crisis”. Kayla has repeatedly called for Corbyn to be reinstated to the Parliamentary Labour Party, calling Starmer’s decision “blatant factionalism”. In her free time, she enjoys reading, with her favourite book being ‘Notes from Underground’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and watching football (in which she supports Arsenal) as well as doing art. Kayla’s mother is Jewish but Kayla is religiously atheist, referring to herself as a "pretty secular Jew".
  4. Name: Kayla Gray Avatar: Caroline Konstnar (Caroline Grossman) Age: 22 Sex: Female Ethnicity: White Swede/Brit mix Marital Status: Not married Sexual Orientation: Bi and out Party: Labour Political Outlook: SCG but pro-Europe (supports EU reform) Constituency: Mitcham & Morden Year Elected: 2007 Education: Attended a state school for Primary, Secondary and 6th Form, Studied History at UCL Career: Political Career: MP for Mitcham & Morden (2007-) (Bio to come soon)
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