John McDonnell: Spring Budget Speech – All-Season Message

The crisis is real.

  • Families will be £5,000 poorer.
  • NHS and social care faces a black hole of £8.5 – £15bn.
  • Real wages have fallen more than any other major economy except Greece.
  • A £4 billion cut imposed on the disabled.
  • Social housing slashed 50% in one year.

This. With a growing economy. Higher tax receipts. And enough money to give away £70 billion to Britain’s “super-rich and giant corporations.”

The Tories prey on the weak. Torment the vulnerable. And goad the less fortunate.

And it’s totally unnecessary.

The government has the ability to act. It has the resources. It has the knowledge. It has the money.

Instead, the Tories are planning a 6% cut to public spending in addition to the cuts imposed by the last Conservative government.

With an average population growth of 400,000 (1.2 million by 2020), additional cuts will be deeply felt; reducing struggling families across the country from “Just About Managing” to “Barely Surviving.”

NHS projections are the worst they’ve been for decades.

The Foreign Secretary says Brexit negotiations could take years; leaving our ability to trade freely and cheaply in tatters.

And yet, there’s hope.

For a speech given in desperate times, Labour championed an alternative.

  • Reverse Tory privatisation by renationalising our NHS.
  • A minimum wage of £10 per hour.
  • Introduce a fair-pay ratio to ensure our lowest-paid workers benefit from the Boardroom.
  • Repeal the public sector pay cap.
  • Reverse the Trade Union Act.
  • Renationalise the railways.
  • Build a million new homes and council housing.
  • Restore public confidence by creating a new watchdog, controlling long-term spending.
  • Tax transparency rules to ensure public confidence in spending.
  • Ensuring all parts of the country benefit from investment and growth.
  • Giving back control to local communities.
  • Ensuring employees are offered “first refusal” if their business changes ownership.
  • Doubling the number of co-operatives.
  • Rights for EU nationals.
  • Investing in renewable technologies.
  • Breaking the “Big 6” energy companies.
  • Dedicating 3% GDP to scientific research.
  • Ensuring people earning over £1 million publish their tax returns, reducing tax evasion.

This common sense agenda is the first step to a more equal – more prosperous – Britain.

An agenda by which we can all unite. Left. Right. Centre. Tory. Labour. Lib Dem.

These are not the partisan policies of “Socialism” but a common sense programme for the whole country.

The Tories are content to bulldoze their way through communities.

Their policies reward the rich at the expense of the poor.

They bask in the chaos of a feckless Brexit.

Theresa May will argue the Tories are the Party of restraint. Of reason. Of responsibility.

But is it responsible to leave our elderly without the services they need?

To allow health spending to fall while our GDP rises?

When 8 out of 10 hospitals are no longer safe?

Is it restrained to cut benefits from young people struggling with unpaid internships?

Is it reasonable to halve new social housing when 75,000 households live in temporary accommodation?

These policies are destroying the Britain they claim to protect.

Labour’s policies – outlined by John McDonnell – offer real solutions to the serious problems we face.

Problems created by the last Conservative government; continued by Theresa May.

So, don’t believe the hype.

It is Labour – and only Labour – putting the country first.

It is Labour that will invest in the NHS, in public services, in schools and jobs across the country.

Labour that says, together, we can build a new reality.

A new reality, unbound by the despair inflicted on families across the country. A reality which doesn’t just defend the most vulnerable: but actively fights for them. Where our sick, disabled, unemployed and elderly feel liberated – able to live with the dignity they deserve; where hope for a better future isn’t a last resort; but an every day experience. Where our kids and grandkids can be safe in the knowledge that we acted: we acted on housing. We acted on health. We acted on jobs; and we acted on climate change, ensuring future generations have the healthy planet they need; to live, work and thrive in. A reality – an existence – to believe in.

This reality is possible.

With the right leadership – with hard-working, principled, passionate leadership – we can say, “We will.”

We will build those hospitals. Those schools. Those parks. Those roads. Those homes.

We will build our communities: Our theatres. Museums. Libraries. And cinemas.

We will build the future we need from the rubble they left.

Brick by brick, we will rebuild what they tore down.

We will go beyond what’s expected of us – not because we can – but because we must.

We will build a Labour government – ready for the present – building the future.

Strong. United. Together.

Solidarity.

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