Today Seema Malhotra spoke in the Chancellor’s Budget Resolutions speech:
The Chancellor claimed in the Budget to have stuck to his fiscal rules. I look forward to seeing how long his rules last. Labour had two fiscal rules in 12 years; the Tories have had 16 in 10 years, and I am sure there are more to come. Politics aside, however, I want to recognise at the start that the Budget would have been difficult for any Chancellor and to congratulate him on delivering it today, given the speculation three weeks ago that it might be delayed. He was right to do so.
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, not to retreat. Domestically, the coronavirus and the potential cliff edge of Brexit are serious challenges, but so, too, 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.
You can read the rest of her speech on Hansard here.