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Ipswich Liberal Democrats

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Ipswich Liberal Democrats response to 2021 Autumn Budget/Spending Review

October 28, 2021 1:19 PM
By Councillor Oliver Holmes

For Rishi Sunak's 2021 Autumn Budget, today is very much the morning after the party

before. Despite the promises and optimism, independent number crunchers have today

announced that most of us are going to be a lot worse-off in the months ahead. As the

English sparkling wine bottles are cleared (a big tax cut here), independent think-tank the

Resolution Foundation says "households will pay £3000 more tax a year" as a result of

measures introduced by Boris Johnson since he came to power. And the Institute for Fiscal

Studies, the leading authority on tax, confirms middle-income families are "likely to be worse

off next year". A major hang-over.

Of course, there has been a major pandemic. But both the Resolution Foundation and the

IFS state that Sunak could have taken a different course if he wanted to. A far bigger drag

on the economy has been the disaster of Brexit. The government's own statistics body, the

Office for Budget Responsibility, confirmed yesterday that the pandemic would permanently

remove 4% of growth in the economy compared to 2% from the pandemic.

For Ipswich and Suffolk in particular, the Budget had very little to say. The Suffolk Chamber

of Commerce was very disappointed stating "it's an underwhelming Budget for our

members". Apart from a small grant for a pub in Westhall (which MP drinks there?), Suffolk

did not get any infrastructure spending from levelling-up funds, compared to the millions

given to other parts of the Eastern region and the UK as a whole. Why? There are many

areas of Ipswich which are amongst the most deprived parts of the country and our average

wage is well below the national average. The seven Tory MPs in Suffolk have spectacularly

failed in persuading their government to bring investment into the County.

Finally, the political chicanery and cynicism of the Chancellor can be seen in his attitude to

Universal Credit. Faced with major criticism over the removal of the £20 a week uplift, he has

changed benefit taper reliefs for working claimants. Presumably, he thinks they are the

deserving poor compared to the underserving sick, the disabled and family carers who

cannot work. Possibly his focus groups confirmed the general public still considered these

people "scroungers". This was too much for Waveney MP Peter Aldous who slammed the

distinction on Radio Suffolk this morning saying "we need to give them all the support we


So there we have it. Vote Tory to lower your standing of living.

Councillor Oliver Holmes

Oliver Holmes

Sources: /1028835/261021_Regional_fact_sheets_v4_Tuesday_230pm.pdf

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