Once again its a case of the expectation of hope being defeated by the reality. The Tories had a chance to address the critical issues facing the country from everything on the economy, to Brexit, the NHS, Housing and Education. Once again they blew it.

On the housing crisis all they do is redirect money from taxation into developers pockets, many who donate to the Tories, by scrapping stamp duty for first time buyers which will force up house prices, even the OBR says so. Wyre Forest has a housing crisis, we are crying out for more rented social housing to be built in what is a low wage area, with over 3000 on the waiting list, and we get this. The Tories offer nothing for hard pressed working families who can’t afford to buy a house and need a home to rent. It’s Pathetic. 

Then we get £540million for driverless cars and yet our public transport system is creaking at the seams. Does anyone in the Tory Party ever use local trains or buses?

Boris’s Leave campaign bus promised £350million a week for the NHS, instead £3billion is going to have to be spent on Brexit bureaucracy replacing institutions we already had via the EU. The Tory Brexit plans are in chaos and we are staring down the barrel of ‘no deal’ and the reality of which many people still don’t appreciate the gravity of because it will make lives even harder for people in Wyre Forest because the economy will suffer. The people of Wyre Forest did not vote Leave to be poorer but this is what a Tory Brexit with their budget so lacking in imagination to rise to the challenges we face, will deliver to them. 

Sadly, the NHS suffers again. Yes it will get a single sum of £350million overall to ease winter pressures but that’s for the entire winter not for every week, and it’s way too little. Whilst the promised £2.8billion by 2020 is welcome it’s some £17billion less than needed according to the influential Kings Fund. It won’t even begin to address the issues. It’s £18million per week and falls well short of Leaver Boris’s NHS bus promise. Don’t expect the Tories to solve the NHS crisis, especially as our local NHS remains in special measures and near £40million in deficit with a further £123million required in cuts. Tory promises simply don’t cut any ice.

This is not a budget designed to help working people, it won’t solve low pay, the housing crisis, the NHS crisis, or put a spring in anyone’s step who’s worried about rising bills and falling wages. Labour’s alternative budget on the other hand would address the issues, on pay, the NHS, Housing and Education, not to mention addressing tax dodging which is costing the country billions of pounds; and it was all contained in our fully costed election manifesto here: https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/

It’s hard to believe that the election was just 5 months ago as the Tories lurch from one crisis to another. It was also not very reassuring to see it’s business as usual for our local Tory MP Mark Garnier, who this week reappeared after his recent disappearing trick following his embarrassing antics, but we can all be assured that he’ll be voting for and cheering on these Tory budget measures that won’t do anything for the majority of his constituents in Wyre Forest. His mission statement says ‘working for all Wyre Forest on every issue’. Frankly he should be prosecuted under the Unfair Trading Regulations, or Trade Descriptions Act for misleading people. Has anyone informed Trading Standards? Only Labour has the plans to deliver for the majority in Wyre Forest and across the country, the sooner a general election comes the better in my view. We can then start to rebuild the country and repair the damage of 7 years of needless Tory austerity.

Stephen Brown

Wyre Forest Labour Party

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