This week’s Budget changed nothing for working people in Leeds. George Osborne spent an hour telling people they’ve never had it so good. But after five years of the Tory government, working people are still an average £1,600 a year worse off.
The Tories came into office promising to protect our National Health Service, make people better off and balance the books. But their plan hasn't worked and the Budget said nothing about the NHS. I’m worried that the NHS as we know it won’t survive five more years of the Tories.
The Tory government started Budget day with plans for extreme spending cuts and they ended Budget day with plans for extreme spending cuts which go beyond simply balancing the books.
They would mean deep cuts to police, defence and social care which are almost impossible to achieve. That’s why I believe the Tory plans can only be achieved by putting the NHS at risk and raising VAT again.
That’s what you get from a Tory Chancellor who gives with one hand and takes away much more with the other. The Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they only stand up for a privileged few.
Labour has set out a better plan for Britain's future; a plan that works for ordinary families, rewarding the hard work they do and saving the NHS they rely on.
So a Labour Budget will raise living standards by increasing the minimum wage to at least £8 per hour by 2020. We will save our NHS from the Tories with 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 GPs and cancer tests guaranteed in one week, paid for by closing tax loopholes and a mansion tax on properties over £2million.
We will cut business rates for small firms, reduce tuition fees to £6,000 a year and guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the grades. We will cut taxes for millions of working people through a lower 10p starting rate.
And we will balance the books in a fairer way by reversing the Tory tax cut for millionaires and scrapping the Bedroom Tax.
That’s the Labour Budget we need; a better plan that puts working families first and saves our NHS.