Seema Malhotra, Labour and Cooperative MP for Feltham and Heston and former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has expressed disappointment with the 2017 Budget.

Seema went on to say: “This was the biggest forecast downgrade in the OBR’s history, we will see growth below 2% for six consecutive years, for the first time since 1945. The warning signs are becoming more serious and far clearer around the uncertainty Brexit is causing both businesses and families.

The OBR’s downgrading means £44 billion will be knocked off the UK economy by 2021, plus the minimum of £40 billion the government plans to spend to progress to trade talks with the EU.  Gove and Johnson have gone from promising an extra £350m for our NHS last year to in 2019 Philip Hammond spending £3.7 billion on Brexit preparations. Families are now £404 a year worse off, according to a study by the Centre for Economic Performance, and income is down £540 with pay hit by £1,000 a year. And we are yet to leave the EU.

The Tories are sleep walking into an economic catastrophe.

The Chancellor failed to address the productivity or provide any gender impact of his economic policies. This is important because we know to date that over 80% of the cuts the Government have made has been borne by women.

The Chancellor had no response to the campaigns by our schools, local authorities and police on more funding for education, community safety or social care, which remains in crisis. Recently Ruth Cadbury MP, myself and local headteachers and parents met with the Schools Minister to raise the plight of our local schools.

The Government also announced their flagship policy of abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers. We genuinely want to see affordable housing and much more access for young people and first time buyers for their own home. That’s why it is so disappointing that in the smallprint the OBR stated this policy would only help a mere 3,000 people and those who already owned property.

The big question is whether the Tories can be believed when their record is so woeful. In 2010-11 more than 36,700 new socially rented homes were built with government money in England, by 2016 this had fallen to just 1,102.

Next week in a speech on the Budget I will be raising these issues with the Government. I will also challenge their current strategy for Brexit, and call for certainly on the way forward and transition for businesses and families in our area and across the country so that our jobs and services are protected.

In reply to the budget I will urge the Government to change a course which is leading the country into an economic unknown. I will call for a more radical industrial strategy to elevate UK productivity from the bottom of the G7 league table.

For all the Chancellor’s bad jokes and false bravado, there was even worse policy. The markets have reacted with yet another fall on the pound. It is time for the Government to bring the nation together and properly plan for the big change ahead.

It is about leadership, clarity and responsibility.”

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