In response to Rishi Sunak’s budget announcement, Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, has highlighted the lack of action on a range on important issues that will make this budget “remembered for what’s absent rather than what’s been announced”.
Whilst the budget contained some headline grabbing announcements, Mr Dromey has claimed that the notable absence of measures including those designed to tackle unemployment, support schools, and the failure to give a pay rise to key workers means this budget “fails to deliver for Erdington”.
Mr Dromey also claims that the budget will “hit many household budgets hard at a time they can least afford it”, due to a forced Council Tax rise and a freeze in the tax-free income threshold. He points out that the Government have “chronically underfunded” Birmingham City Council, which has seen the largest cuts of any local authority in history of over £700 million, leaving no alternative to a Council Tax increase of 4.99%.
Concerns have also been expressed over the delay in extending furlough, which Dromey claims has “unnecessarily cost many jobs that could otherwise have been saved.” This is worrying for a constituency that has seen unemployment dramatically increase over the course of the pandemic and now stands at twice the national average.
Jack Dromey, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Erdington, said:
“The simple reality is the budget announced today by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, fails to deliver for Erdington.
“Whilst there are some welcome steps, such as the ‘super deduction’ which will help businesses and manufacturers and encourage investment, the measures announced today do nothing to tackle deep seated issues of inequality that have held our community back for over 10 years of successive Conservative Governments.
“Due to decisions taken by the Tories and their chronic underfunding of Birmingham City Council, Erdington residents will see their Council Tax bills increase by 4.99% this year. This, combined with a tax-free income threshold freeze, will hit many household budgets hard at a time they can least afford it.
“There is also nothing to deal with the worryingly high levels of local unemployment, and whilst the extension of furlough is welcome, the decision to delay the announcement will have unnecessarily cost many jobs that could otherwise have been saved.
“A major omission from the budget was the deeply disappointing failure to announce a much-needed Gigafactory in our region that would help secure the long-term future of the West Midland’s automotive sector.”
“There’s nothing in this budget to finally support all of those excluded from Government support. Nothing on reforming social care, a sector that has been hit so hard by this pandemic. Nothing on self-isolation payments to prevent the spread of Covid and reduce the risk of another deeply damaging lockdown. Nothing to support our schools who have endured extra costs due to Covid. And nothing to reward our key workers for their heroic efforts throughout this pandemic.
“This is a budget that will be remembered for what’s absent rather than what’s been announced.”