NORTHFIELD MP Richard Burden has hit out hit out at Government’s budget, claiming there is no evidence that ‘austerity is over’ or ‘coming to an end’.
Mr Burden, writing in his Westminster Diary for the Bromsgrove Standard said: “Instead, the Conservative Government is making our country a more unequal place to live.
“The Chancellor claimed to be helping those on low or average earnings but analysis from the Resolution Foundation Think Tank estimates that Budget will help rich families 14 times more than the poor.
“There was also bluster rather than real action to address the public services funding crisis, caused by almost nine years of austerity.
“Austerity has hit areas like ours hard.
“The Government has been keen to take cash from councils, telling them and our communities to ‘just deal with the consequences’.
“Those austerity consequences have increased child poverty, doubled homelessness and slashed public services.
“More than a million elderly people aren’t getting the care they need and wages have stagnated.
“Communities are paying the price for the failure to properly fund our services.”
Mr Burden added when he spoke to people two main things came up – the state of the area’s schools and concerns about crime and policing levels.
“On those issues the Government is clearly not listening to communities and families up and down the country.
“There wasn’t even a single penny for the day-to-day costs of our schools, even though school funding has been cut by eight per cent.
“The Government only cobbled together a one-off hand-out for schools so it could pat itself on the back and tell itself it had done something. Nor was there any money for regular policing, despite the cutting of 21,000 officers and violent crime on the rise.
“It isn’t good enough and comes nowhere close to the action needed to truly undo the impact of almost nine years of austerity.”
He added services locally were at breaking point.
“The Government says it has put aside £650million for local authority social care, which equates to around £1.8million per local authority.
“Again, good on the surface, but to put that in perspective, Birmingham has had funding from central government cut by some £700million since 2010 and local authorities face a funding gap of £7.8billion by 2025.
“The Government cannot afford to keep putting their head in the sand. Our communities need and deserve better.”