Our manifesto commitments show that 95% of the people of this country would not suffer any tax increase under a Labour Government. The Conservatives have managed to double our debt, while preaching austerity—doubling the debt because the economy did not grow significantly under the austerity ideology.
The Secretary of State may point to the increased spend on the NHS as an example of austerity ending, but the Health Foundation has branded it as simply not enough. Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said yesterday that if we look at total spending—[Interruption.] The Secretary of State seems to suggest that health spending is not relevant to the economy, but it is the wellbeing of all our constituents that enables us to deliver an economy that works for everyone. Paul Johnson of the IFS said:
“If you look at total spending beyond the NHS it’s not really going anywhere…
If you look at total spending as a fraction of national income, it’s not really going anywhere... This is not a dramatic change in the sense of undoing much of the cuts we’ve had over the last eight years.”
The Chancellor has squandered an opportunity to repair the damage done to our public services and our economy by his predecessor’s pursuit of a failed economic ideology. That ideology has created many of the problems holding back our economy today, from chronically low productivity and business investment to eye-watering levels of inequality in terms of both income and geography.