Years of austerity mean the consequences for Britain are piling up. Our NHS has been pushed to the brink with waiting times soaring; our social care system is in crisis; teachers are reliant on parents to fund school supplies, and crime is rising at a record rate.
Today the Chancellor presented his budget in the House of Commons. For the last eight years, the Tories have made cut after cut to the detriment of our communities.
In advance of the Government statement, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan set out his demands of the Chancellor for Portsmouth, building on his efforts locally and in Parliament. His priorities set out publicly are:
1) Stop the £3.7m cuts to Portsmouth’s schools
2) Properly equipped Royal Navy, recruiting the sailors our Carriers need
3) Bobbies back on the beat, policing cuts cancelled
4) Tackling the social care crisis and proper funding for our local NHS
5) Devolution for Solent to unlock growth and develop infrastructure
6) Protect local services and restore millions axed from city council’s budget
Unfortunately, none of them have been fully met by the Government in the Chancellor’s statement today.
Reacting to the Chancellor’s 2018 Budget, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“If the PM thinks austerity is over, she clearly forgot to tell her Chancellor.
Today saw a raft of sticking plasters for the big issues that matter most to people in Portsmouth. Our city’s police and schools are still on course for devastating cuts and Portsmouth has been left behind yet again.
The Chancellor referred to helping schools with an ‘extra bit of kit’. Well, I don’t class our hardworking teachers and school staff as ‘extra kit’ and frankly, £10k per primary won’t pay their wages. It’s never been more obvious just how out of touch this Government is.
Some extra money for defence is welcome, but with a £20bn black hole, £1bn is nothing but a sticking plaster. Our armed forces remain overstretched and unvalued.
As much as the Chancellor tries to dress this up as a win for working people, the fact is he’s cut tax for higher-rate earners and found nothing for the services that families in Portsmouth depend on to keep them safe, educated and healthy.
Ultimately, the Tories’ actions speak louder than their words and this budget saw more new money for a no-deal Brexit and potholes than our NHS, schools, and police combined.
With the deficit set to rise again next year and permanent stagnated growth, it’s clear austerity isn’t working. More of the same from the Tories simply won’t do; sadly, that’s exactly what Portsmouth got today.”