Commenting on the Autumn Statement Mike O’Brien said,
“The central fact confirmed in the Autumn Statement is that working people in North Warwickshire and Bedworth are on average over £1,600 a year worse off since David Cameron came to office. Prices have risen faster than wages for 40 of the last 41 months. But despite this, the Conservatives have chosen to give people earning over £150,000 a huge tax cut, whilst imposing the bedroom tax on low income families to pay for it"
“This will be the first government in two hundred years to have left office with people poorer than when they came in. So far most local families feel no recovery at all. Government figures reveal that real wages will have fallen by 5.8% by May 2015. After three years of flat lining the cost-of-living crisis is set to continue with prices forecast to rise faster than wages until 2015.
Mike set out Labour’s policy,
“Labour’s long-term plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis is to expand apprenticeships; cut business rates for small firms; make work pay by expanding free childcare for working parents; provide a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people and the long-term unemployed and we plan to freeze gas and electricity bills while we make long-term changes to the energy market.
“By contrast the latest energy proposals from government will still see energy bills rising this winter in North Warwickshire and Bedworth and it lets the energy companies off the hook. Even with these changes to levies, energy bills are still rising and the average household will still be paying £70 more for their energy than last winter."
Mike also highlighted concerns about borrowing. He said,
“This Government were elected promising to “balance the books” by 2015, but ended up borrowing more in 3 years than Labour did in 13 years. Borrowing will be £79bn that year and over this Parliament borrowing is forecast to be £198bn more than promised in 2010. National debt as a percentage of GDP is not now forecast to start falling until 2016/17, breaking one of the Government’s own fiscal rules. First they said they would balance by 2015, then 2017, now its 2019.
“On Fuel duty, the Chancellor was right not to increase it, but of course his VAT rise added 3p to the price of a litre of petrol.”