Karin Smyth MP condemns Autumn Spending Review for hitting working families hardest

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has condemned the Autumn Spending Review for hitting working people hardest, with each household in Bristol South having faced a £3000 tax increase since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.

This week’s budget confirmed taxes will reach their highest level in over seventy years, rising to 36.2% in 2026/27, the highest level since 1949/50. This is also the biggest tax rise in nearly three decades. With the UK Government refusing to reinstate the Universal Credit £20 a week uplift, an ongoing cost of living crisis and real wages falling, working people are left shouldering the burden whilst the Chancellor announced a £4 billion tax cut for banks’ profits.

The UK has suffered the largest economic hit from coronavirus and is also suffering the slowest recovery of any major advanced economy. Public services like the NHS are facing mounting pressure, but the Chancellor only gave a vague commitment to spending more on doctors and nurses with no detail on how the UK Government actually plans to recruit and train more staff for the NHS. With the NHS short of 40,000 nurses and 1,100 fewer GPs now than in 2016, an investment plan to address workforce shortages is urgently needed.

Karin Smyth was also disappointed by the Chancellor’s decision to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD) for internal flights within the United Kingdom. This measure will do nothing to encourage people away from high-polluting modes of transport. Currently, it is significantly cheaper for people to travel to Edinburgh by plane from Bristol Airport rather than by train. A quick search online shows that a flight will cost only £29.99 to Edinburgh, whereas travel by train will cost £97.20. This Budget completely failed to achieve green outcomes for the country.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“This Budget shows just how out of touch the Chancellor’s priorities are. Working families are being left to carry the burden of higher taxes whilst bankers are being given a tax cut. Never have the British people had to pay so much for so little in return, it’s a disgrace.

“From no workforce plan for the NHS to recruit more doctors and nurses, to a shortfall in funding for the education recovery and only a couple of passing references to the climate crisis, the Chancellor is neglecting areas that will benefit working people in Bristol South and around the country.

“A Labour Government would put working people first, using the power of government and skill of business to ensure the next generation of quality, green jobs are created right here in Britain. We’d tax fairly, spend wisely and prioritise the green recovery. Working families deserve better.”