The earth. Image: NASA Earth Observatory
The earth. Image: NASA Earth Observatory

The Chancellor’s Autumn Budget showed the Conservatives are out of touch and have the wrong priorities.

They handed huge tax cuts to the banks, while putting taxes up on working people and cutting Universal Credit to about 7,200 families in my Weaver Vale constituency.

This comes at exactly the wrong time, just as people are feeling the pinch – with energy prices rising, the cost of petrol at record levels, and food bills soaring.

Labour has a plan to ease the pressure on households right now. We’d abolish VAT on energy bills for 6 months to help people get through the winter months.

Thanks to the Tories, from next year our taxes will be the highest they’ve been in decades, but they have no plan to fix our crumbling public services – with fewer police on streets, growing class sizes, and long waits to get hospital treatment.

On the green agenda, there is a gulf between the rhetoric and the reality. Ahead of COP26 Boris Johnson warned the world could be heading for a new ‘dark ages’ if it failed to tackle global warming.

Yet just a couple days earlier the climate crisis didn’t even get a mention in the budget. And the Chancellor’s halving of air passenger duty on domestic flights will encourage people to take the plane rather than the more environmentally-friendly train!

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