Chancellor Philip Hammond had the opportunity in the Autumn Statement to change direction on austerity and breathe new life in to our ailing economy. He had the chance to invest in the many social needs in Sheffield and across the country, and start the green transition that climate change demands. That opportunity was spectacularly missed. Instead of offering a vision for a positive, post Brexit, future, Hammond underlined Tory plans taking us further down the well-worn path to more failure.
The destructive austerity policies of the previous Chancellor have made inequality dramatically worse and removed social safety nets. We could save billions by scrapping plans to cut corporate tax and raise the tax threshold for the highest earners – and we could plough that money into our ailing NHS. But the Government again protected the interests of the best off over the many.
Tackling catastrophic climate change is our greatest challenge and the Chancellor failed to even mention it in his speech. A serious response could have included a nationwide insulation scheme to keep people warm in their homes, cut energy bills and create jobs in every community. Instead we have a backwards looking budget that fails to wage war on poverty or grasp the realities of an uncertain world and the limited resources in it.
Cllr Douglas Johnson
City ward Green Party