Wirral MP calls for greater ambition from government in tackling the issues facing the country
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10 Mar 2021
Margaret Greenwood MP has called for greater ambition from government saying that the Budget was a 'disappointment' and that the government ‘failed to grasp the enormity of the challenges facing our country’.
The Wirral West MP was speaking during a debate in Parliament on the Budget which was announced by Rishi Sunak last week.
Ms Greenwood said that the Budget failed to reward the public sector workers who have kept the country running through the pandemic. She described the decision to give just a 1% pay rise – which is actually a real terms cut – to NHS workers as ‘shameful’ and said that the Chancellor should be giving them the pay rise that they deserve.
She was also critical of the decisions to defer rather than scrap the planned cut to Universal Credit for six months and the plan to cut Statutory Sick Pay in real terms, despite the fact it was already at one of the lowest levels in Europe.
She also focused on the issues of rising unemployment, particularly amongst young people, and the urgency of tackling the climate emergency.
Speaking after the debate, Margaret Greenwood MP said:
“This year’s Budget was an opportunity for the Chancellor to fix the foundations of our economy and build for the future.
“He should have rewarded the public sector workers who have kept the country running through the pandemic, but has instead given them a real terms pay cut.
“Despite all of the evidence of the extreme hardship of those on low pay and those who are out of work, the Chancellor merely deferred his £20 a-week cut to Universal Credit for another six months when he should have cancelled it altogether.
“Newly announced support for the self-employed has been described as ‘too little, too late’ by Excluded UK which represents the three million so far excluded from government Covid financial support.
"We have seen a big increase in unemployment during the pandemic, particularly amongst young people. Yet only around 4,000 young people across the entire country have started new jobs through the government's flagship Kickstart scheme which the Chancellor had said would prevent an entire generation from being "left behind".
"Here in the North West we know only too well just how damaging unemployment is to young people.
"The government needs to go much further to make sure that people have the support that they need and that the jobs are there for them to apply for. We cannot afford to see a generation let down.
"Labour has been calling for a £30 billion green economic recovery package to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and to tackle the climate emergency. This would transform the levels of opportunity available to people. It would also mean that people would have money in their pockets to spend in the high street.
"We need to see more ambition from government to address the very serious problems that are facing us."
The full text of Margaret Greenwood’s speech can be read here: https://tinyurl.com/c2b7cdk2
And you can watch her speech via this link: https://tinyurl.com/55scmhje