Karin Smyth MPs South Bristol Voice Column :: November 2022

At the end of September, the Chancellor finally came to the House of Commons to deliver what the Government wanted to call a ‘fiscal event’. This name hides the fact that he actually gave a full-blown Budget without the scrutiny needed. As the weeks have progressed the outcome of this Budget has got worse.

It’s important that we don’t forget what the Tory Government has done to our country’s, and our personal, finances.

It all started with the markets being spun into a panic as it dawned on them that this government was being sound with our money. Instead, they had decided to give massive tax cuts to the richest 1% in the country and would fund it with borrowing. This tanked the value of the pound. The contagion then spread to the cost of borrowing for the UK Government. This directly impacts us because what the UK Government have to pay is later reflected in our mortgage rates. And now we are living with expected interest rates on mortgages of 6%. To put it another way people will see an additional £500 slapped on mortgage repayments on average.

But it doesn’t stop there! The Bank of England had to step in and bail out the Tories reckless Budget because pensions looked on the verge of going bust. This is because they buy the long-term gilts (government debt). The Bank of England had to pledge £65 billion to calm the markets. Just image what that £65 billion could have done for Bristol.

This is an economic crisis made in Downing Street, paid for by working people.

To make matters worse, the Tories plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis was to let the gas and oil giants get away without any further extension of the windfall tax proposed by Labour. What does this mean? Well, it means that the Tory Government will borrow to pay for an energy price cap. In other words, we will be paying more to allow the energy providing companies to keep their absurd profits.

At every twist and turn of the past few weeks we have seen a government out of ideas and out of credibility. It’s clear that we need them to be out of office to let Labour fix the mess they have made.

It’s shameful that they have racked up debt and dragged down businesses. South Bristol could be a thriving hub for green energy. We could see the end of food banks. We could see public services that are there for you in your time of need.

Government is about choice. Labour’s choice will be to support you and create a fair economy.