Rachael Maskell MP for York Central
Rachael Maskell MP for York Central

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central slams today’s critical budget for failing to set out a transformative economic plan, and leaving too many York families, businesses, and essential services struggling and in need of further help.

Although announcements on extending the furlough scheme, VAT reductions and business rates will offer businesses some respite, the budget did not include support for over 2m who are still unable to access income support schemes, nor did it include any promises to assist businesses who will shortly be faced with the Coronavirus Loan repayments.

Despite the extreme pressure put on the NHS and social care sector, the MP was dismayed that the Chancellor failed to recognise the urgent investment that our public sector needs after a decade of austerity and responding to the pandemic.

On local investment, Rachael Maskell was also deeply disappointed that despite its huge economic and environmental potential, there was no commitment to invest in the BioYorkshire project and there was confirmation that, the much anticipated Whitehall departmental move will be going to Darlington and not York Central.

Rachael Maskell MP says:
“The Chancellor failed to show contrition as he rose to deliver his budget statement today for the sheer cost that his Government’s poor management of the pandemic has had on the economy, costing 1.74 million people their jobs, and accumulating £2tr in debt. This was confirmed by the Office of Budget Responsibility in their analysis of the state of the economy.

“Those on Universal Credit have been given a stay of execution for just 6 months where Labour would guarantee that £20 a week and reform the social security system. And when many families are straining to make ends meet, Council Tax is going up and people are being pushed into another decade of hardship, carrying the cost of a failed economy.  When the tax rises come we have also learnt that they will hit our lowest earners hardest.

“He has presented businesses with a short term bridge to get us through the next phase, but this still leaves many of the excluded with no compensation for a lost year of support and an estimated 2.4m sole directors of companies with no support at all.  There was nothing to allay the fears of businesses faced with paying off large debts when they are still in the middle of a crisis.

“Despite the extremely serious and significant climate emergency we are facing, the Green Infrastructure Bank will see just £12bn of investment when we must pivot the whole of the economy towards climate mitigation.  There was no commitment to investment in the incredibly economically and environmentally important BioYorkshire project, which would bring 4,000 new jobs to our economy.

“In the detail of the budget’s ‘Red Book’ we also learnt of £4bn of departmental cuts, including to our NHS, in a year where Covid19 has stretched the health service beyond its limits, and yet, there was not a mention of health or social care and the investment they urgently need in the months and years to come.

“After a decade of poor productivity, poverty and job insecurity the economy needed protecting, instead the Chancellor continues to play catch up. But with his eye on the political cycle, not economic cycle, he gave handouts to his backbenchers through the Town’s Fund where 37/40 places have a Tory MP, and moving Whitehall departments in his MP’s seats, despite places like York having one of the worst hit economies and being promised a move from Whitehall to York Central.”

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