Jon Cruddas MP | Spring Budget Response 2024

Jon in Parliament_2
Jon Cruddas MP | Spring Budget Response 2024

I say it after every Budget over these past 14 years, but what we have been given is more smoke and mirrors. Like previous Tory Budgets it will yet again be working people who fall foul of the Government’s sleight of hand and the services we all depend on will further deteriorate. People will conclude that 14 years has led to the country being worse off and living standards for working people have worsened.

We’ve just seen the last budget ahead of a General Election and the Tories have used it to present a pre-election giveaway for voters in the guise of a further 2p cut to national insurance. But, only those paid between £27k and £59k will be better off because of the autumn 2023 freeze in tax thresholds, meaning some of the lowest paid workers will now be losing almost £500 a year according to calculations from the Resolution Foundation. And of course high Council Tax rises are being forced due to Government cuts. 

Nothing in today’s Spring Budget will change the fact that the tax burden is now at a seventy-year high and the average household in places like Dagenham & Rainham will be worse off under Rishi Sunak’s tax plan.

It isn’t just individual households that are worse off, the CEO of Marks & Spencer described operating under the current government as “like running up a downwards escalator with a rucksack on your back.” If that is how large, sustainable multinational companies feel, imagine the situation facing millions of small and medium sized independent businesses across Britain. The Tories are bad for business. The proof is on every high street.

This is the last desperate act of a failing government in its death throes, offering whatever they can to survive. After the next general election whoever wins – Conservative or Labour - the next government will inherit the worst set of economic circumstances since the Second World War. Fourteen years of Tory mismanagement has brought the nation to its knees.

People struggling to make ends meet will look at the crumbling state of the NHS, policing that is stretched to breaking point and local councils with their vital services to communities on the verge of collapse and conclude it’s time for change, for a Labour Government with different priorities.