During the Autumn statement today, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that the Tories will be cutting Corporation Tax to the lowest rate in the G20 – meaning that we will lose Billions in tax revenue. At the same time, the Government will continue to ruthlessly pursue £12 Billion of welfare cuts that will punish the poorest in society – including many working families. The decision has been met with fierce opposition from Labour, the TUC, and disability rights groups.
Essentially the Tories are taking from the poor – and giving to the rich. Not exactly what you would expect from the party that just a few months ago claimed to support working people.
The Tories have had 6 years to improve the economy – and they have completely failed. Austerity policies have caused unnecessary pain for millions and have been widely criticized by economists for hindering economic recovery since the crash of 2008. Deficit reduction appears to have been abandoned by Hammond after the Tories wasted 6 years on the rather pointless task of reducing the deficit – instead of focusing on economic growth as advocated by economists when Osborne took office in 2010. Given this you would expect that welfare cuts would be abandoned – apparently not.
The results of the Tories economic policies have lead to nothing but more economic pain, and turmoil. Wages have fallen across the board by 10% under The Tories. Funding for public services has seen real term cuts that have caused widespread misery and poverty. We now have a country where nurses are using food banks, and where 17 million people have less than £100 in savings. Almost a million people in low-paying sectors are living in poverty, while the number of workers on precarious zero-hours contracts has increased by 21% in the year to June, to just under a million.
And once again all the Tories care about is giving tax cuts to the wealthy, and taking from everyone else. So much for Theresa May’s repeated claims only a few months ago that the Tories are the party of working people.
During his spending review today – Hammond announced:
Corporation tax will fall to 17%, by far the lowest overall rate of corporate tax in the G20.
The rationale behind this we are told is:
that Britain remains the number one destination for business – creating the investment, the jobs and the prosperity to protect our long-term future.
The move will see a loss of Billions in tax revenue for the country. There is no evidence to suggest that cutting corporation tax in this way boosts economic growth or investment. In fact, it will have the opposite effect because corporations simply sit on their profit, rather than reinvesting it somewhere useful- this has been proven conclusively by studies time and time again. The Tories are simply this tax cut as a way to make the rich even richer.
To compensate for the loss of tax revenue – the Tories are targeting the poor, the vulnerable, and the working class. They will be pressing ahead with cuts to Universal Credit that will be diasterous for the working poor. Single working parents will be some of the hardest hit, and it is estaimated they will be £2,800 worse off by 2020 – completely negating any gains made through the national living wage.
This graph shows the horrendous impact that the cuts will have on the poor.
Disabled people will continue to be punished by the Tories as they proceed to take £30 a week away from people receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). These cuts were opposed by members on all sides of the house, as well as Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who earlier this week pleaded with Hammond to reverse the cuts.
Commenting on the cuts Dan Scorer, Head of Policy at Mencap, said:
The Chancellor has failed to heed calls from his own MPs to reverse damaging cuts to disabled people’s benefits (ESA) that will drive them further from work and push them towards or deeper into poverty. He has also failed to address the serious crisis in funding for social care.
Whilst the change to the taper rate to Universal Credit will allow some people in work to keep a small amount more of their income, it does little to mitigate the damaging effect of the £30 a week cut to Employment and Support Allowance and it’s equivalent in Universal Credit – a cut which will hit both those out of work and those in work on low incomes
At the last election, the Government made a promise to disabled people that they would halve the disability employment gap. The Autumn Statement offers little to help people with a learning disability move into work, or cope with the loss of support from social care services.
Speaking about the cuts today the TUC’s general secretary Francis O’Grady said:
These are political choices. The Chancellor has chosen tax cuts for corporations and the better-off, rather than putting money in the pockets of ordinary working people.
The cuts in Universal Credit continue to be met with heavy critisism from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who has said the Government is betraying the people who depend on it.
Speaking directly after Hammond’s statement McDonnell said:
Today we’ve seen the very people the Prime Minister wanted to champion betrayed. The Chancellor has failed to break with the economic strategy of austerity
The country remains unprepared and ill-equipped to meet the challenges of Brexit and secure Britain’s future as a world-leading economy.
After all the sacrifices people have made over the last six years, I fear today’s statement has laid the foundations for more wasted years
The Tories are a disaster for the economy and for the working people they claim (quite hilariously) to support, and represent. The Tories would rather cut corporation tax than support working people, the poor, and the disabled. Once again the Tories show they are more than happy to punish the disabled for a choice they haven’t made – and more than happy to punish the working class – for being working class – and to punish the poor – for being poor.