Harlow Labour leader slams Tory budget as it “does little to help people in Harlow”
News / Tue 21st Mar 2023 at 08:06am
THE LEADER Of Harlow Labour has slammed the Conservative government’s budget.
Councillor Chris Vince said: “The Conservative MP for Harlow praising a Conservative government’s budget comes as no surprise. If you search ‘Robert Halfon praises’ on YourHarlow you will find he has done just this every year since they came to power in 2010. Most notably, Mr Halfon enthusiastically backed the last years disastrous Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwateng budget which trashed the economy and cost the country more than £60 billion. So although Mr Halfon will try to distance himself from the disaster of successive Conservative government’s austerity measures and the cost-of-living crisis, he has very much been a supporter of the policies that have made so many people poorer.
Just like the local Council Conservative budget, the Conservative government’s budget does little to help people in Harlow who are really struggling after 13 years of the rich getting richer while the rest of the country get poorer.
This Budget was a chance for the government to unlock Britain’s promise and potential. Instead, they decided to continue papering over the cracks of 13 years of economic failure. The only surprise was a handout for the richest 1% and their pension pots. Despite the chancellor’s boasts about child care none of his measures will be implemented before any of children already born are too old to benefit!
Growth was downgraded in this Tory Budget with the UK the only G7 country expected to have negative growth in the coming year, but Labour will not allow us to keep bumping along this path of managed decline. With our mission to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7, we will create good jobs and productivity growth across every part of our country. Where this Conservative government has thrown in the towel, Labour will build a better Britain.
What a load of rubbish. Fuel duty frozen for the 13th year saving Harlow drivers £100 a year - compared with the fuel duty escalator that Labour left meaning a litre of petrol would now be nearly £3. The Energy Price Guarantee extended which has supported Harlow households with £1,300 of their energy bill on average. 30 hours a week free childcare from 9 months - 4 years. Changing Universal Credit to support with childcare so more Harlow parents can work by increasing the amount of UC support for childcare costs by almost 50% & paying this upfront instead of in arrears. Ending the prepayment metre premium to ensure the thousands of Harlow homes with prepayment metres don’t pay more. Huge tax cuts for Harlows SMEs. Freezing beer duty to help Harlow pubs. Support to get hundreds more Harlow residents into work such as abolishing the work capability assessment. Increasing rates for Harlow nurseries. I could go on with dozens more measures. Cllr Vince really ought to read these Labour central office press releases before he sends them.
Furthermore, halving inflation which is due to drop from 11% to 2% this year. Reducing the debt and growing the economy.
Dan talks about "abolishing the work capability assessment", which is part of the 'conditionality' regime. However, he fails to mention "Increasing conditionality on parents and carers claiming universal credit... encouraging people to increase their work search intensity." A direct quote from page 22 of the OBR Budget report which really means putting the squeeze on people to jump through more hoops to fail and lose their benefits. The big increases forecast in net migration over the next 5 years is the real mechanism to fill gaps in the job market, not to mention the extra 500,000 that arrived last year. See OBR report: https://obr.uk/download/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-march-2023/?tmstv=1679390825
Cllr. Swords if the outlook for the people of Harlow is so rosy under the current administration, why did you walk away from your important portfolio brief[s]? I know it is local election time but really most of your comment was I suspect taken from a national Conservative leaflet or prepared script. And most of it was predicted to happen last year by expert economists in London. The Labour group on the council will say little on their policy agenda during the local election so BS is equally divided while the residents' of this town still cannot afford to eat or heat. Focus on helping those and some mutual respect might return, but I doubt it sadly!
Cllr Swords - The budget was appalling more free give always (which are not free) and you increased corporation taxes and destroyed investment in RnD. Totally utterly appalling budget and to be honest the conservatives are socialist big government , just like labour. You are all the problem not the solution Huge tax cuts for Harlows SMEs - What tax cuts mine when up 30%
Last year the Conservative council honoured its pledge to cut the Harlow Council element of Council Tax by £ 50: Labour in their alternative budget proposed the maximum increase permitted by Law. This year the Conservative Council honoured its pledge to freeze the Harlow element of Council Tax and to continue with full Council Tax for those eligible. What did Labour propose to (QUOTE) ‘help people in Harlow’? NOTHING! They could not even be bothered, as an Opposition, to take the trouble to propose an alternative Budget. Clearly, they have no proposals and no ideas.
Cllr Swords, perhaps if fuel duty hadn't been held back there would have been more money to maintain the roads and make them actually fit for purpose. And perhaps the traffic congestion referred to the other day would not be so "bad".
Record levels of taxation( 47% of gdp)record levels of government spending(103% of gdp) record levels of government debt( you really don’t want to know). Yet we have crumbling infrastructure and failing public services. Where is the upside in this? Oh and 2% inflation by end of year? Try 6-7% at best providing they don’t change the way they measure it.
Cllr James Leppard is right to point out that the Labour Group did not offer an alternative budget this year. I see this as an appalling abandonment of duty. But what can one expect from the Labour leader Chris Vince, a man more interested in promoting himself. I hear there are plans afoot to depose him as leader of the group (from a reliable source).
Peter Henegan . How about this for an idea. Do away with the vehicle road tax completely, and add it to the cost of fuel so the drivers who use the roads more pay more. Why should I who drives only occasionally pay the same as someone who drives all day. .
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