George Osborne and David Cameron would have you believe the economy was fixed but they have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy. That’s why it’s left to the next Labour government to build the strong economic foundation we need by getting the deficit down and balancing the books in a fairer way.
Ordinary people here in Wyre Forest and across the country are struggling with the cost of living crisis and not feeling the economic recovery.
Wages are stagnating, too many people are stuck in low-paid jobs and the tax revenues we need to get the deficit down aren’t coming in. This cost of living crisis is why the Tories have had to admit that his key promise – to balance the nation’s books by next year –lies in tatters.
Unlike Labour, the Tories don’t understand the fundamental link between the living standards of everyday working people in places like Wyre Forest and Britain’s ability to deal with the deficit. George Osborne has now borrowed a staggering £207 billion more than he planned and the economy is set to slow down next year after forecasts for wages have been revised down again.
The Tories’ economic plan simply isn’t working. Yet they’ve committed themselves to slashing public services to a level not seen since the 1930s. They are doing it because they want to, not because they have to.
They are ideologically committed to an approach which will result in a permanent cost of living crisis of low skills and low quality jobs which won’t raise the tax revenues needed to tackle the deficit.
Unless we tackle the deficit in a tough but balanced way we face a simple choice between spending more money on debt interest payments or more money on vital public services like our NHS.
Without fundamentally reshaping our economy, we will only ever be able to compensate people for unfairness and inequality. That is not a sustainable future and it doesn’t match our ambition for changing our country. That is why our agenda for creating social justice is about big reform, not big spending.
Labour’s economic plan will be one of balancing the current budget, not destroying productive investment; bringing the deficit down, not driving it up; sensible reductions in spending, not slashing our public services; the wealthiest bearing the biggest burden, not everyday people; and fully funded spending commitments without additional borrowing, not unfunded tax cuts that put our NHS at risk.
Our tough and sensible approach will balance the books through an economy based on high wages and high skills, common sense spending reductions and fair choices on tax.
Our vision is of a country that works for everyday people with public services your family can rely on. We’ll achieve this by putting everyday working people first so we can earn our way out of the cost of living crisis and create a Britain built on strong economic foundations.