Barbara Keeley MP


Barbara's Salford Advertiser Column, 8 December 2011

Labours plan for jobsConservative Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in his autumn statement that the government plans for many years of austerity.  But his plans are not working now, they are a colossal failure. This Government’s savage cuts are already affecting our communities and our public services. Many people have lost their jobs or fear losing them.

George Osborne now has to admit that he cannot deal with the deficit as he promised – his gamble with our economy has failed. The Government is borrowing a staggering £158 billion more than they planned. We are paying the price of this failure through increased unemployment and higher costs in benefits. The Chancellor’s economic plans are in tatters.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat Ministers’ policies announced in the Autumn Statement will hit women and families hardest and they give no hope to young people. The Chancellor once said: “We are all in this together”. But he will not bring in the tax on banker’s bonuses that Labour would use to find jobs for 100,000 young people who are unemployed.

The Conservative Chancellor is also hitting hard at families. A family with two children working for the minimum wage will lose £320 next year due to the cuts the Government is making to tax credits. The Government’s plans will also mean there will be more families with children living in poverty.

I have talked to many people locally who would prefer to see the Government adopt Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth. Now is the time to make a cut to VAT, putting £450 back into the pockets of each family.  Our plan would see VAT cut to 5% on home improvements and give a tax break to small businesses that take on extra staff. Labour’s plan would give a boost to our local economy in Salford. It is time for the Chancellor to abandon his failed plan and to take urgent action for jobs and growth.

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