Karin Smyth MP slams Tory Budget for “completely ignoring” the West Country

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, spoke of her frustration towards the Tory Government for “completely ignoring” the West and South West regions in this year’s Budget. The only mention in the Red Book was money for potholes in Devon. A fact Karin Smyth derided due to the chronic cuts to local government finances for the last 13 years.

During her speech, the MP for Bristol South focussed on three shortcomings enshrined within the Budget.

First, was the failure to implement a long-term workforce plan for the NHS. This is despite the fact that only a few months ago the Chancellor was the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee and signed off a report calling for just this.

The failure to address workforce issues within the NHS means that more and more people are being denied the care they need. Karin Smyth MP then pointed to the stark statistics which show 150,000 people have died because they couldn’t access the state social care they needed. Moreover, 57,000 people are now without care they were promised by the Tory Government because of their short-sighted actions in this crucial area.

Ms Smyth then turned her attention to the childcare proposals contained within the Budget. Despite the best efforts of the Tory Government to steal the clothes of Labour, the detail shows that childcare providers will be expected to do more for less. Currently, they are only given £5.50 per hour – dramatically under the National Minimum Wage – and are having to fund this shortfall with care for younger children. Proposals being made in the Budget have no details on how this will be traversed.

Karin Smyth ended her speech by calling out the Tory Government not containing a single measure that would dramatically help the people of the West Country.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“The Tories are completely ignoring the West Country once again. The collective amnesia from ministers over the existence of Bristol, Truro and Falmouth, Plymouth, Swindon and Filton demonstrate they have become irrelevant to the needs of us living in the West and South West.

“For 13 long years we have been promised social care reform. For 13 years we have seen more cans kicked than in a recycling centre. 150,000 people have died waiting for adult social care and 57,000 are now without because of the Tories non-existent plans. The longer we have no social care reform the longer the NHS will be swamped.

“Childcare provision is atrocious. Without it, more women – because we end up being care providers – are being forced from the work force. This harms our economic growth, productivity and ability to give children the best start in life. The Budget tried to steal Labour’s pledges on fundamental reform, but the detail shows more slogans and no solutions.”