WATCH: “The Key Feature of the Chancellor’s true blue budget is that it will leave 3 million families £1,000 per year worse off”

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This week Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, spoke in the debate on the Summer Budget 2015.

Steve’s speech at a glance

 

·         The key feature of the Chancellor’s true blue Budget is that it will leave 3 million families £1,000 per year worse off, on average.

·         The cuts to sickness benefit will mean that a party that has routinely seemed comfortable seeing cancer sufferers and others declared fit for work will now institutionalise that problem by having all those unfit for work reclassified as potentially fit and therefore eligible only for the lowest level of benefit. That is a blatant attack on the sick, not the workshy.

 

·         Traducing the concept of a living wage by consuming it with a 50p rise and excluding the under-25s does not wash. It is merely a crude attempt to distract attention from the impact of the cuts to working tax credits.

·         There were also little measures contained in the Budget to address the problems of skills and productivity. In High-tech, science based businesses the issues is skills, access to capital and the capacity to grow. We need a Budget to help and encourage them.

 

·         Turning maintenance grants into loans will do nothing to encourage young people to develop the skills we really need, but may frighten off a generation from poorer backgrounds and simply turn Government debt into personal indebtedness. This is the Osborne legacy.

 

·         At the other end of the scale, what impact do hon. Members think the combination of tax credits cuts and minimum wage rises will have on the care sector? It is a sector of low wages and immigrant labour, with mostly small businesses or groups such as Southern Cross. We will see further cost cutting, scandals, inquiries and receiverships. Of course, higher wages mean higher fees, and therefore extra demands on already decimated local authority budgets.

·         Inheritance tax is not the priority in an economy that needs better productivity.

 

“My contention is that the short-term political cunning of this Budget will fail because the key decisions are wrong…. We should be rewarding effort, not inheritance.

The Chancellor could have done a lot more, but he is too busy shoring up his friends and shoring up his leadership prospects. My advice is to beware the cheers now, because it could be a case of cheers today and gone tomorrow.”

 

For the full Hansard of Steve’s contribution to the Budget debate please click here

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