Last Friday’s mini-budget announcement saw the return of casino economics – gambling the mortgages and finances of every family in the country.
The Chancellor made clear what his priorities are. Not a plan for growth, but a plan to reward the wealthy by abolishing the top rate of income tax. A return to the trickle down of the past. The Tories also chose to shield the eye-watering windfall profits of the energy giants.
12 years of Tory government have left us with lower growth, lower investment and lower productivity. The only things going up are inflation, interest rates, bankers’ bonuses and government borrowing.
In a cost-of-living crisis, the government is borrowing from working people and adding to our national debt to give the top 1 percent a £2bn tax giveaway. These changes mean a nurse will soon be paying almost the same marginal tax rate as a millionaire.
The Tories say that all of this will “unlock growth” but their record tells a different story. The last time GDP growth was sustained at 2.5% was under the last Labour government. It has been just 1.5% on average under the Conservatives. The UK is now forecast to have the slowest growth of any major advanced economy next year.
Over the past few days, the pound has fallen to a record low against the dollar and UK borrowing costs have risen to their highest level since 2008. Analysts expect interest rates to top 5% next year to offset the extra borrowing, which will add hundreds of pounds a month to mortgages.
The Tories’ claim to be the party of economic competence and fairness is now firmly dead in the water. Sadly, it is local, hardworking families that will end up paying the price.