“The Chancellor said on Monday that this was “ an economy working for everyone.”
But the facts tell a whole different story.
Families up and down the country know the cold hard truths of the past eight years of Conservative rule – families who have been at the sharp end of Tory cuts to our public services.
The richest ten percent are set to gain 14 times more in cash terms next year from the Budget than the poorest tenth of households.
Growth is set to be below 2% in every forecast year – almost unheard of – and figures for the UK are now 60% below the G20 average. UK manufacturing growth has fallen to its lowest level since 2016 – well below forecasts before Brexit.
And what about children and young people?
Wards in my constituency now have around 40% children growing up poverty.
This year, 3.1 million children with working parents will be below the official breadline and much of the 1m increase since 2010 is due to Govt benefits Policy changes.
Mr Speaker the impact of cuts on children was brought home to me when over 100 teachers from Hounslow visited Parliament a few weeks ago. When asked what issues were impacting children’s attainment in their schools, two thirds said mental health, over half said food poverty and many also referred to difficulties at home.
This shows in stark terms the reality of families under strain and children now feeling that strain. Not having a decent place to live, resources to study, food to eat or time with parents who work shifts day and night to make ends meet.
The Children’s Commissioner has highlighted changes since 2010 in major areas of Government Spending on Children Overall a 12% cut. Spending on “Young People” (youth services and youth justice – a fall of 60% in real terms since 2010.
The High needs budget in schools also under great strain.
The value of child benefit has fallen 17% since 2009-10, while the value of the state pension has risen by 54%. Some estimates suggest up to 1000 sure start centres may have shut since 2010, with bigger cuts in more disadvantaged areas.
The hit goes further than schools, into young adults.
Last year around 2.2 million learners aged 19+ participating in some form of government-funded further education. A decrease of 29% since 2011-12.
That is without Brexit which of course will affect young people the most and for the longest, some who did not even have the chance to vote.
Children and young adults who are now being hit hardest by the Governments choices. The test of an economic policy is also who wins and who loses.
As the government wins plaudits from the most wealthy it is our job to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and call for a fairer future for the next generation.”
– Seema Malhotra MP
Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston