Today (Wednesday 11 March 2020) the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered this Government’s first Budget. Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP has slammed the Government’s budget for not ensuring an end to austerity and no real investment for the city.
Mr Morgan unpicked the Chancellor’s fiscal plans and called out the fact Portsmouth and the South East continue to be neglected with no robust plans to redress the inequality caused by Tory austerity.
Mr Morgan said:
“Over the last ten years we have seen a decade of decline. Cuts to public services we all rely on as we pay more, but get less, and infrastructure holding our city and our region back.
In today’s budget I know Portsmouth people were hoping for real investment for the city and an end to austerity.
Instead we saw a political panto in the House of Commons, with soundbites with no serious consideration of the challenges our city faces.
We now risk another five more years of more disappointment for Portsmouth”.
The IFS have said that cuts to funding from government have led to 17% fall in councils spending on local services since 2010. This has pushed local government to become reliant on local taxes for revenues, in particular council tax.
The Government’s financial plans also received heavy criticism on their failure to address national issues. No real solutions have been put forward to address the climate crisis through infrastructure projects, austerity has not ended and the NHS is creaking ahead of a potential coronavirus strain.
On the national picture, Mr Morgan said:
“In recent weeks, Government has utterly failed to provide leadership in response to storms, flooding, and the coronavirus outbreak.
Is this the budget that will combat issues of international significance such as Coronavirus, the Social Emergency, and Climate Change? Regrettably there is no evidence to suggest it will.
It seems yet again Mr Johnson has delivered on nothing but empty promises and left the people of Britain to deal with the consequences.”
The city MP has long been lobbying for a fairer funding formula for Hampshire Constabulary, calling out government cuts to city schools, championing the need for proper investment in Portsmouth Naval Base, calling for a solution to the social care crisis and the need for the black hole in Ministry of Defence funding to be addressed. The Budget today made no effort to combat these issues.