Local political reaction to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement


MP thinks the plan is working but local Labour Leader says she is out-of-touch with reality

Banbury’s MP has backed yesterday’s financial statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt.

Victoria Prentis says the Prime Minister’s plan to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt is working.   Rishi Sunak made the pledge in January.

Mrs Prentis said: “Since then, inflation has halved, the economy has grown more than forecast and debt is on track to fall.  The plan is working.

“These are only possible because of the fiscal headroom created by the Government’s tough decisions and economic discipline over the last 12 months.”

Yesterday Jeremy Hunt announced the main rate of National Insurance Contributions would fall from 12 to 10 per cent, the National Living Wage would rise to £11.44 an hour, pensions would increase by 8.5 per cent, and benefits would be lifted by 6.7 per cent.

Mrs Prentis said: “The past year has seen the economy turn a corner.   [The] Autumn Statement makes the most of the opportunities created by sound management and fiscal discipline.

“Measures to ease the burden on working people and ensure that work pays are welcome. The Chancellor’s plan will continue our path to long-term growth, unlocking investment and unleashing productivity.”

But the leader of the Labour Group at Cherwell District Council thinks Mrs Prentis is trying to fool the electorate.

Councillor Sean Woodcock said: “Victoria Prentis is completely out-of-touch with reality.

“Inflation has been upgraded in every year of the forecast period, with prices ending up 7% higher at the end of the forecast period than the OBR forecast in March.

“Household incomes will still be 3.5% lower next year in real terms than pre-pandemic, the biggest hit to living standards on record, while real wages are set to fall this year by 0.7% and are almost flat next year.

“Meanwhile, debt as proportion of GDP will be 28% higher next year than it was when the Tories came to power. And under the Conservatives, the tax burden is set to increase by £4,300 per household.

“Our MP is trying to fool the electorate to cover up the fact that we’re all worse off after 13 years of the Conservatives in government.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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