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Liz Kendall MP: We need a bold plan to boost jobs and our economy's growth


No impact on the level of GDP at the end of the forecasting horizon." That's what the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) – the independent body which scrutinises the economy – concluded about this week's Budget.

In other words, all the measures the Chancellor announced won't make any overall difference to whether the economy grows.

The growth forecast for this year has been halved to 0.6 per cent and will be lower next year, too. In reality, this means the economy is flatlining.

The deficit is rising this year, and the Government won't balance the country's books in 2015 as they said they would.

Our national debt is soaring, and isn't forecast to fall as a proportion of GDP until 2017-18 – two years after the Chancellor promised.

This show austerity alone isn't getting Britain's economy back on its feet. As confidence is crushed, businesses go bust, long-term unemployment soars, the Government gets less from tax revenues and the benefits bill goes up.

The Chancellor says any action to kick-start the economy will lead to more borrowing. But the Government is itself borrowing £245 billion more than they originally planned to pay for the costs of economic failure.

What does this mean for my constituents?

One in 10 young people in Leicester West are still unemployed. Long-term unemployment is also up – by 30 per cent across the East Midlands in the past year. People in work see their wages failing to keep up with rising food, gas and electricity bills.

This, plus the VAT hike and cuts to tax credits, means those on low and middle incomes are struggling to make it to the end of each month.

April's increase in the personal tax allowance won't make up for what families have already lost in terms of tax and benefit changes.

The OBR confirmed this week people will be worse off in 2015 than they were in 2010.

Yet – predictably – our Conservative Prime Minister and Chancellor have decided to help the very richest people in society.

On April 1, 13,000 millionaires will be handed a tax cut worth on average £100,000.

We desperately need a bold plan to boost jobs and growth and a steady and more balanced plan to reducing public spending.

Repeating Labour's tax on bankers' bonuses would fund a real jobs guarantee for young people.

Investing in transport and other infrastructure would create jobs and boost our ailing construction industry.

For example, money from the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum would build 100,000 new low-cost homes.

Crucially, ensuring banks can only get the lowest rates of funding if they increase lending to businesses, as well as overall lending, and creating a proper British Business Bank would help small and medium-sized companies expand and thrive.

Yet the Government refuses to change course. Each year, they say the economy will get better. Each Budget we find out it hasn't, yet they still propose more of same.

I will continue to fight for a different approach, because my constituents deserve better.

Liz Kendall MP: We need a bold plan to boost jobs and our economy's growth

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