Last week we heard the very worrying news that Britain could lose its treasured triple A rating, the very justification the Chancellor has used for his overly severe austerity measures. Furthermore the experts explained that the threat of losing this prized rating is because there is no growth in the economy – something that Labour has been warning of for some time – the Chancellor is cutting too fast and too deep, choking off any economic growth.
You only have to ask local businesses to know that cuts and job losses mean that people simply have no money to spend. I hope last week’s warning will be a wake-up call to the Chancellor to change course, because we have only seen the very beginning of his planned cuts. Figures I’ve obtained from the House of Commons Library show that the Chancellor plans to take over £6 billion out of the Welsh economy in the next three years, including nearly £800m cuts in tax credits – cuts which will hit lower and middle income households hardest – leaving people struggling to make ends meet and cutting back even on very basic items such as food and heating.
Making hard-working families in Wales pay for the fallout from the banking crisis is not only blatantly unfair, it is economic madness as low income households spend their money most immediately back into the local economy – madness which will undermine the best efforts of the Welsh Government to create jobs and provide help for business. That is why I am calling on the Chancellor to listen to the experts, to change course, before it is too late, before more businesses go to the wall. Let’s have a proper strategy for growth.