Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:16 pm on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South 3:16 pm, 31st October 2018

I agree, but I point out to my hon. Friend that between 4 million and 5 million people earn poverty wages in this country, which demonstrates that work does not pay under this Government.

To turn back to education, the bonus averages out at £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school—around £50 per pupil. If we think about that, the Government took £4.5 billion out of education, then put £1.5 billion back, so they still owe over £3 billion. Analysis suggests that schools in Coventry have faced almost a £300 cut to funding per pupil since 2014, so a £50 one-off payment per pupil is a drop in the ocean—barely enough to buy two new textbooks. Schools do not need small change or “little extras”; they need funding to rehire special educational needs senior assistants, to re-offer dropped subjects and to fund teacher pay increases fully.

As hon. Members all know, Coventry will be the city of culture and while I welcome the £8.5 million for that, the Government still have not given us the same amount of money that they gave Hull—in fact, it is nearly half. The city centre will benefit hugely, and it will also benefit from cuts to business rates for smaller businesses. However, as I said, the £8.5 million is below the £14 million that was given to Hull for 2017. I will work closely with my colleagues in Coventry City Council. Coventry must receive its fair share of funding to help to make the most of the city of culture opportunity.