First, he was made to recognise that his planned tax credit cuts that would have cost millions of working families an average of £1,300 a year from next April, had to be dropped.
Second, a concerted campaign led by Labour and backed by people from across the country ensured that he couldn’t proceed with massive cuts to our police that would have threatened the security of every citizen in the country.
Of course, we have to test the Chancellor’s claims to the full during debates in Parliament in the coming days.
We already know that he plans to roll tax credit cuts into the new Universal Credit before the end of this Parliament in 2020 – delaying, not ending the pain for many working families on low incomes.
We also know that in the days leading up to the Spending Review, Home Office plans to reform how national police funding is dispersed to local services fell apart. We will have to watch carefully to make sure that Merseyside does not lose out when new funding rules are agreed.
Claims that mental health will get a much-needed £600 million cash boost have to be weighed against the fact that it has lost the same amount in the recent past and we haven’t yet seen a timetable for the new money becoming available.
In short, this is a smoke and mirrors Spending Review which still leaves many people worse off and fails to address the big challenges facing our country.
Average earnings are forecast to be down next year and every year until 2020 while real disposable income has been revised down this year.
This is the slowest recovery in living memory. Productivity has been revised down next year and the year after; and the year after that. The gap between UK productivity and the rest of the G7 countries is now the widest since 1991.
The Spending Review is putting our future economic prospects at risk and storing up problems for the future. The Spending Review will cut essential day-to-day services in the present, and risk serious harm to the economy in the future.
Tory cuts mean:
- Department for Transport spending will be cut by 37 per cent;
- The Department for Communities and Local Government faces a 29 per cent cut;
- The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills budget is being cut by 17 per cent;
- The Department of Energy and Climate Change budget is being cut by 16 per cent;
- His announcement on policing doesn’t make up for the fact that there are 17,000 fewer officers since 2010.
Indeed, we have an increasingly unbalanced economy, based more than ever on insecure jobs in the service sector and an over-reliance on the finance sector.
Labour would balance the current budget and deliver a government that invests in partnership with workers, businesses and entrepreneurs to support innovation, create wealth and drive growth.