This article is from Alison's weekly column for the Wirral News. This post is from 28th March and can be read on the Wirral News website here.
Last week I predicted that George Osborne would boast that everything was going well, and, readers, I don’t think I was far off. But I’m not sure how believable this is, in truth.
The Chancellor has really failed to meet the tests he set himself: from closing the deficit gap by the end of the parliament (he now says 2019) to keeping hold of the UK credit rating, he has not met his own standard.
But worse for people in Wirral, since David Cameron and Nick Clegg came to office, wages are down £1,600 a year. Forecasts show that people will be worse off in 2015 at the next election compared to 2010, the last election.
George Osborne had a golden opportunity last week with his budget to help people in Wirral. After all in previous budgets he was able to give a £40,000 tax cut to millionaires. But the Tories and Lib Dems have let people in Wirral down once again.
We know that the British economy needs rebalancing, but instead there was talk of help for Cambridge – a city in the South East, surely doing well enough already!
There was no pledge to freeze energy prices and to help pensioners and families who are struggling to cope with soaring bills.
There was no help for families with the cost of childcare which has gone up by 30 per cent since the last election. Nor was there any help for young people, half of which are either unemployed or underemployed.
But perversely there is still enough money in the coffers to continue a tax cut for the very richest, a tax cut that costs the treasury £3bn.
If Labour wins the general election next year we would act to help people on Wirral – while also reducing the deficit, but in a fairer way.
We will freeze energy bills, expand free childcare for working parents and help 24 million workers with a lower 10p starting rate of income tax.
We will start a compulsory jobs guarantee to get the young and long-term unemployed back to work.
George Osborne had a chance to help the families and pensioners that I represent. Yet again he has let them down.