The Chancellor delivers his Budget to a nation deep in anxiety about our resilience and ability to cope with the challenges ahead. Internationally, we see a backdrop of stagnating growth and failing globalisation, which requires us as a nation to work with other nations more closely and not to retreat. Domestically, the coronavirus and the potential cliff edge of Brexit are serious challenges, but so are our public services. Commentators note that the NHS has 43,000 fewer nurses than it needs, that over 15,000 beds have been lost since 2010 and that the UK now has second lowest number of beds per capita in the G7. His announcement of funding for 50,000 nurses will not deliver trained and experienced nurses overnight and is the starkest of admissions that the Tories cuts have gone way too far.
The Chancellor delivers his Budget to a nation that has watched, in every corner of our Union, its great public institutions weaken, its jobs become less secure, and its communities become less safe. Only last month, the Marmot review found that life expectancy among the poorest 10% of women in England had fallen over the previous 10 years for the first time in more than 100 years and linked austerity to this outcome.
Watch my full speech on the Budget below or read the Hansard transcript here.