My thoughts on today’s spending review:
This has been an unprecedented year and it’s clear many difficult decisions have had to be made, but in my view this was a huge missed opportunity by the Chancellor to get the economy moving again.
Instead, he’s delivered a slap in the face to the valued key workers and public sector staff that have helped get us through this pandemic.
The public sector pay freeze will impact people like teachers, community health workers, firefighters, care workers and police officers among many others who’ve been central to helping keep our country moving through this crisis.
The Chancellor clapped these people only a few months ago, now they’ve been hung out to dry.
I welcome the investment in the levelling up agenda, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t simply become a slush fund for Tory marginals as the Towns Fund seems to have become.
Sadly once again, there is still no support for the millions of excluded workers, the many freelancers and some self-employed who’ve had no income at all these last few months, and simply not enough to head off the huge wave of unemployment that’s heading our way.
The Chancellor will say we need to tighten our belts, and yet not a day goes by without a new revelation of profligate spending by this government, whether it’s on £50k takeaway bills, billions on PPE produced by companies with no background in the industry following procurement processes with no competitive tendering, or a broken test and trace system that has swallowed billions of taxpayers’ money.
There’s seemingly plenty of money for Tory pals, but it’s the hardworking frontline workers who have to pick up the bill.