John McDonnell: This budget needs to be an emergency budget for our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime Minister and her embattled Chancellor.
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, will today (Thursday) give a keynote speech at Church House in London, where he will set out the five main demands that Labour wants to see in next week’s Autumn Budget.
The Shadow Chancellor will argue that the country needs an ‘emergency Budget’ to save our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime Minister and her embattled Chancellor. The Shadow Chancellor will call for a Budget that deals with the growing emergency faced by working families and our vital public services, which have been left in crisis after seven years of Tory austerity.
He will also make the argument that this Government is not prepared to clamp down on tax avoidance, but instead wants to engage in a race to the bottom in low corporation tax rates.
John McDonnell will argue that after seven years of Tory economic mismanagement the Chancellor must change course next week, by abandoning his planned tax giveaways to a wealthy few and instead bringing greater fairness into the tax system.
The Shadow Chancellor will set out five central demands for next week’s Autumn Budget:
1. Pause and fix Universal Credit
2. Provide new funding to lift the public sector pay cap
3. Serious funding for infrastructure across the whole country
4. Properly fund our public services including health, education, and local government
5. Launch a large-scale public house-building programme
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, in his speech today at Church House, is expected to say:
“In his first year as Chancellor, Philip Hammond has demonstrated that he completely fails to understand how working people are struggling after seven years of Tory austerity.
“Next week the country needs an ‘emergency Budget’ for our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime Minister and her embattled Chancellor.
“There has to be a genuine and decisive change of course.
“As the Paradise Papers revealed yet again, the Tories have created an economy in which the rich elite at the top do better than ever, while the rest of us have to live with our vital public services teetering on the brink.
“While the Tories refuse to properly clamp down on tax avoidance and push ahead with tax giveaways to the corporations and super rich, public sector workers like our nurses are relying on food banks.
“Our schools’ head teachers have to ask parents for donations to keep them open for our children.
“Our NHS is so badly underfunded that a quarter of nurses are forced to take a second job.
“Local councils have had their funding for children’s services slashed to the point that charities now warn the crisis risks turning into a catastrophe.
“Philip Hammond wants you to believe there is nothing that can be done to end these scandals. And that the millions more children who will grow up in poverty under this government due to their policies, cannot be prevented.
“He wants you to believe that the housing crisis in our country cannot be fixed in the way that Labour has consistently called for, and even colleagues in his own Cabinet have argued for, by increasing investment to build more housing.
“He wants to pretend he cannot invest on the scale needed, yet he has already borrowed more in his first year as Chancellor than any of his predecessors in their first year at the Treasury.
“There is a better way than this. But it needs a complete break with past failures.“