Autumn Budget – what our Spokespeople say

The Lib Dems have been hot off the mark with what this Autumn Budget doesn’t do.  Here are 7 failures.

And leading Lib Dems have been speaking out about what the budget really means:

Leader of the Lib Dems Vince Cable MP says

Each person in Britain is set to be £687 worse off per year compared to forecasts before the election.

And as living standards are squeezed, the Government is setting aside £3.7bn to cover the cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Chancellor found more money in the Budget to plan for Brexit than he did for our struggling NHS, schools and police.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran MP says

Due to the Conservatives disastrous decision to call a referendum and pursue a Hard Brexit, our exit from the EU is really starting to bite.

For many residents, including many public service workers, this means more years of low pay rises that don’t keep up with inflation.

Public sector workers – doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers – haven’t had a pay increase in seven years. To put this in perspective, for our ambulance staff that’s a more than £5,250 pay cut.

Liberal Democrat research based on OBR figures shows that:

  • A newly qualified teacher on £22,970 will be £3,032 worse off by 2020 as a result of the public sector pay freeze.
  • A newly trained police officer on £22,962 will be £3,031 worse off by 2020 as a result of the public sector pay freeze.
  • A prison officer starting on £23,572 will be £3,112 worse off by 2020 as a result of the public sector pay freeze.
  • A private starting on £18,488 will be £2,440 worse off by 2020 as a result of the public sector pay freeze.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey says: 

Crime is rising and police numbers are falling but you wouldn’t think the Government cared looking at today’s budget. The police barely got a mention in the Chancellor’s speech despite forces up and down the country being desperate for a cash-injection.

It is clear where the money is going – £3.7bn to help the Conservatives drive through a hard Brexit. Just a fraction of this money would have been transformative for the police but as usual we see the Tories putting politics above everything else.

The Chancellor’s announcement of £2.3bn extra for research and development is a con – Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Susan Kramer says:

This £2.3bn only just about replaces the money British firms were receiving from the European Investment Fund, so this is merely substitute money.

British firms are already finding their funding is drying up as Brexit looms, yet there is hardly a British tech company that hasn’t benefited from the European Investment Fund.

In regards to Hammond’s announcement of just £1.6bn of NHS funding for 2018-19, less than half the £4bn that NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and leading think tanks have said is needed, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly comments:

The number of nurses are falling, waiting time targets are being missed, and treatments are being rationed. In social care, more than a million vulnerable older people are already missing out on vital support that they need.

Yet the government has provided less than half the money the NHS says it needs to cope, and no additional funding has been provided for social care.

This is nowhere near enough to stave off the looming disaster facing our NHS and social care services.

The Liberal Democrats have been clear. By putting a penny on the pound, we can raise an extra £6bn a year and secure the future of the NHS and care.

The Liberal Democrats have accused Philip Hammond of conning the public over housing after revealing that far from the £15 billion promised by the Chancellor, the real figure for housing is closer to a much reduced £6 billion over the next 5 years.

Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson, says

The truth is these plans are not nearly radical enough to fix the housing crisis. There are millions of people in desperate need of a home or paying extortionate rents who will not see any improvement to their living conditions.

The so-called new investment in house-building is a con, the small print shows there is just £6 billion extra for increasing housing supply rather than the £50 billion that Sajid Javid said he wanted. It falls far short of what is needed to increase supply to 300,000 homes a year.

There was virtually no support at all for building new homes for social rent and by failing to remove the borrowing cap for local councils, the Government is stopping much needed affordable homes from being built.

Philip Hammond has announced he will consider charges on single-use plastic items to reduce waste. It comes following a Liberal Democrat campaign to introduce a charge on disposable coffee cups, to reduce the billions of cups thrown away in the UK each year.

Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, says:

This is a major victory for the Liberal Democrats, who have long been demanding action to tackle plastic waste.

We now need to make sure this consultation leads to real action and isn’t just kicking the cup down the road.

Our environment and wildlife cannot wait any longer for tough measures to reduce plastic debris polluting our rivers, seas and countryside.

Introducing a charge on disposable cups, like the plastic bag charge, could change people’s behaviour and help protect the planet.

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  • Richard Underhill 24th Nov '17 - 1:52pm

    Promises on new towns will need to be followed up, lest they disappear in long grass.

  • Nick Collins 24th Nov '17 - 3:00pm

    New towns disappearing in long grass: is that one of the hazards of building on green-field sites?

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