Westminster Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget is a continuation of Tory class war and will deepen inequality for households.
Following the chaos of the Truss/Kwarteng mini-budget, the Tories want this budget projected as balanced and fair – but it isn’t. Any concessions the Tories have made need to be viewed in the context of their destruction of public services, demonisation of people on benefits, attacks on trade unions, and handouts to the super-rich. This budget will ensure living standards for the vast majority of people continue to decline.
A budget that contains billions in cuts, with minimal tax increases for energy corporations and the wealthy won’t do anything to undo extreme inequality. Freezes on personal allowance and income tax thresholds will hit workers’ wages and punish those who haven’t benefited from ferocious corporate profiteering. Energy bills will be higher for the vast majority of people and this will hit people across the North disproportionally. There’s still no clarity on when people here will receive the £400 energy support or heating oil payments.
Hunt’s budget won’t tackle the cost of living crisis many face and does nothing to address regional economic inequalities afflicting Derry and the North West. The £650M increase for Stormont’s budget is very far from what is actually needed here and is technically already spent.
Funding for the NHS and schools doesn’t increase in line with inflation and, disgracefully, doesn’t include funding for above-inflation pay rises for nurses and public sector workers.
Climate pledges made by the Tory Chancellor can’t be trusted while plans to build a new nuclear power plant are greenlighted.
We don’t accept the lies that this budget is in any way fair. Workers taking strike action for real pay rises is crucial in tackling inequality.
As the devil in the details of this budget becomes clearer, so will the need to ratchet-up cost of living resistance. We encourage the broadest support for all workers taking action and for the We Demand Better! March and rally on November 26.
Belfast: 1pm 26th November, marching from Custom House Square to Writers’ Square.
Derry: 1.30pm 26th November, Guildhall Square.