Rushanara Ali MP attacked George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, calling attention to a decade of damaging future Government cuts which will hurt families across the country.
The Bethnal Green and Bow MP welcomed the success of residents and campaigners across the UK in forcing George Osborne to defer his previous cuts to tax credits, but also warned that the Chancellor still planned deep cuts to public services and welfare – a course so extreme that the IFS called it ‘unprecedented’.
She also highlighted the Government’s climb-down on police cuts after sustained Labour pressure.
Announcements in today’s Statement included:
• Cuts to universal credit which will mean millions of working families will lose an average of £1,000 by 2020 – though the losses could rise to £3,000 for some families.
• The deferral of cuts to family tax credits until the nationwide launch of Universal Credit in 2020 – but the retention of policies which will take £1 billion from working families next year and over £3 billion by the end of the Parliament
• The continued commitment to £12 billion of public spending cuts – likely to hit the women, disabled people and the least wealthy in society.
• Fresh raids on housing benefit budgets, despite confirmation that last Conservatives have the worst peacetime housebuilding record since the 1930s.
• Confirmation that child poverty has increased by 500,000 since 2010, and news that education spending will mean spending on each school pupil will be cut in real terms
Speaking after the Chancellor’s Statement, Rushanara said:
“George Osborne’s Autumn Statement was one of smoke and mirrors. It changes nothing. He has shown himself committed to unprecedented cuts to public services which will leave the residents of Bethnal Green and Bow worse off over the coming years. I am pleased that – thanks to public pressure and campaigning in Parliament by Labour – George Osborne has dropped the cuts to tax credits for the time being, as well as his cuts to our police service. Yet this Statement still saw the announcement of shocking levels of cuts to council budgets which means they will struggle to provide local residents the vital services they need and rely on.”