After the Spring Budget announcement on 11 March, Rushanara Ali MP made the following statement:
“Yesterday, the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Spring Budget, which promised a large increase in public spending, and an emergency boost to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst both commitments are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough to counter the destructive austerity policies the successive Conservative governments have pushed for the last decade, forcing millions into poverty. Our underlying economy is weak with growth forecast dropping to 1.1% this year and rising to only 1.4% by 2024. This forecast does not even take into account the impact of coronavirus on the economy.
This budget fails to address the social care crisis that our country currently faces. The Government’s response to coronavirus does not raise the basic rate of statutory sick pay, and doesn’t provide statutory sick pay to those on zero-hours contracts, those in part-time low-paid work or those without a contract of employment. In addition, their lack of support for local authorities, who are the front-line services dealing with this crisis.
Also, despite the climate emergency, this budget fails to provide sufficient incentives, investment and support for the next generation of green businesses to tackle climate change. The promises it has made are derisory and do not go far enough to tackle the climate emergency, instead this budget has promised £27 billion on roads, whilst only promising £140 million on electric car grants.
The new Chancellor’s boast that this new budget marks “the beginning of a new era in this country” is an insult to hard-working people up and down the country, who have seen a decade of austerity, stagnant wages, job insecurity and devastating cuts to our police and other public services under the successive Conservative governments."