City Labour MP slams budget for ‘failing Portsmouth’

Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget
Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget
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PORTSMOUTH South MP Stephen Morgan has criticised today’s budget as being out of touch saying the government has ‘no idea of the reality of people’s lives and no plan to improve them’.

Mr Morgan said the budget had ‘let the city and the country down’.

He said he had had four tests for the Chancellor’s statement in the House of Commons: funding to protect Portsmouth’s public services; funding public sector pay rises; building more homes and investing in the local economy and infrastructure such as road and rail.

He said: ‘On all these tests the Tories have failed the people of Portsmouth. And worryingly, the Tories haven’t just failed my tests for the economy, they’ve failed their own. GDP forecasts are plummeting by the day, the deficit is up, and inflation is riding above pay. This government’s economic record is one of failure and ordinary working people are paying the price.

‘Today we’ve seen the cost of a Tory government out of touch and out of ideas. For the first time in modern history, GDP growth is expected to be under two per cent in every forecast year. Wages are lower, our schools and NHS in crisis, and fewer bobbies are on the beat. Tory austerity has failed. Yet, this government’s answer is to carry on as usual.

‘The Chancellor’s vision of Britain bears no resemblance to that experienced by Portsmouth people. I know people are deeply concerned about their schools, hospitals, housing, policing and defence cuts. But there was no new money for the 5,000 head teachers who wrote to him, not one mention of police officers, and only empty gestures to our cash-strapped health service.

‘All this government has offered is clever accounting and business as usual, and it’s costing our economy and communities dearly.’

However, Fareham MP Suella Fernandes defended the budget.

Ms Fernandes said: ‘The budget clearly shows that this government is working to support everyone in society. Over £6.3bn of new funding for the NHS; fund a pay rise in the NHS; £44bn investment to support 300,000 new homes being built every year; abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers will help people into affordable homes; a new railcard for 26 to 30 year-olds and many other new announcements will help everyone to get on in life.

‘I know many people in Fareham are also frustrated with poor broadband, so the launch of a new full fibre fund that local areas can bid for and a £385m investment in 5G and full fibre broadband is good news.’