The Budget: Another Missed Opportunity

29 October 2018

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned Philip Hammond’s Budget.


Mick said: ‘This Budget was a missed opportunity to do the right thing for Britain ahead of Brexit.


‘The Chancellor and the Prime Minister say they are abandoning austerity. It would be nice to hear them admit that’s because it hasn’t worked. But, no, Mr Hammond says he is abandoning austerity – an utterly discredited policy to which he and the Prime Minister have been wedded since it was introduced by David Cameron, George Osborne, and Nick Clegg in 2010 – because the books are in better shape. But they’re not!


‘The truth is they are abandoning austerity because people are fed up with living in the Conservative Age of Austerity – that’s why the Tories are languishing in the polls – and it’s clear to every economist that it’s hurting but not working. The cuts are hitting people in every corner of the kingdom and the Tories are worried it will cost them at the general election.


‘Also, if you look a little closer, you will see that many of the cuts are still in place, or about to work their way through the system, and people and services will suffer as a result.


‘This wasn’t a Budget for Britain – but a Budget for the few, not the many – from a Chancellor who doesn’t believe in Brexit and doesn’t believe in doing anything for all those on low and middle incomes, or those who are homeless, or hoping to get a home, or for those who are waiting in line at the food banks which are proliferating in this country and shame a nation which still has the fifth biggest economy in the world.’


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