Last roll of the dice

6 Mar 2024
Rolling dice

Today's budget was supposed to be the final chance to convince the electorate that we should trust the Conservatives to continue to run the country after the next election.


It was the culmination of 14 years of austerity, political in-fighting and chaos.


The main headline grabber was a 2% reduction in National Insurance with the claim that personal taxes were now the lowest since 1975 a year in which the VAT rate was 10% compared to the 20% now. The Chancellor also forgot to mention that by freezing tax bands many recipients of the NI saving will see this money go to pay increased income tax as they find themselves either moving into tax for the first time or into a higher tax band.


This is illustrated by The Office for Budget Responsibility which says tax as a share of GDP will be the highest level since 1948 by 2028/9, and four percentage points above the pre-pandemic level of 33.1% of GDP in 2019-20.


And yet nothing works!


NHS dentists are rarer than hens teeth, potholes litter our roads and are left in many cases until they are dangerous, over 7 million sit on NHS waiting lists and prosecution rates for rape and burglary are so low you almost chance of being caught


Despite4 this the budget does nothing to help unpick the consequences of years of underinvestment in our public services


As we speak to voters in South Suffolk the message we get is that we need to fix our public services. Looking at the detail of the financial forecasts it appears that the Conservatives are planning further austerity should they get re-elected. The Institute of Fiscal Studies have said "Sticking to the plans would require cuts to unprotected services (those not lucky enough to be covered by existing commitments and promises) of around 3.3% per year, under a plausible set of assumptions".


Liberal Democrat spokesperson for South Suffolk Tom Bartleet commented

“This Budget will barely touch the sides for families and pensioners around here, who are facing soaring mortgage bills while the cost of the weekly shop goes through the roof.

“People in South Suffolk know that their tax bills will remain sky high after this budget, and the Chancellor is attempting a desperate deception after years of income tax hikes.


“People don’t want more Conservative empty promises while our local health services are left on their knees. They want proper change through a General Election so we can kick this Conservative government out of office.

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.