Emma responded to last week’s Budget during the final day of the budget debate on Tuesday. She criticised the Chancellor for not including measures to address the pain the cost of living crisis has inflicted on the country’s poorest households.
Emma pointed out that people in South Shields had been some of the worst affected by the Coalition’s economic policies, and that now that growth had returned the Chancellor should have used the Budget to help reverse the worrying trend that has seen their wages fail to keep up with prices for 44 out of the 45 months David Cameron has been in Downing Street. Instead he chose to focus on helping middle and upper earners through changes to pensions and savings.
Emma told the House:
“Now that we are finally seeing a return to growth, this Budget should have been an opportunity to help the people who have suffered hugely during the recession. Instead the Chancellor all but ignored them. He said this was a Budget for savers, but that will mean nothing to those whose incomes are so squeezed that they have nothing left at the end of the month to put aside. What little savings some people have are being spent right now to cover the gap between their income and their living costs.”
Emma also criticised the “patronising gimmicks” included in the Budget to cut duty on beer and bingo, saying that stable, well-paid jobs were the priority for her constituents:
“People in my constituency do not have beer and bingo at the forefront of their concerns. They care about the dignity that decent, well-paid work gives them. They care about providing for their families. They care about being able to pay their bills and to afford to eat. To put it simply, bingo and beer are far from the minds of those queuing at food banks.”
You can read Emma’s speech in full by clicking here.
Labour MPs voted against the Government’s Budget resolutions on Tuesday, but they were forced through by the Coalition.