Plymouth Labour responds to Autumn Statement

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Plymouth Labour has responded to today's Tory Autumn Statement. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond MP, delivered his first Autumn Statement and announced a massive increase in borrowing, debt is up and growth is down. But did he deliver a new trainline for the south west?

This Autumn Statement has revealed the Tory ‘long term economic plan’ lies in tatters. After six wasted years we now see growth revised down in 2017 & 2018, borrowing and debt up. Meanwhile average earnings are revised down last year, this year and in the next three years. And the Tories are still pressing ahead with huge cuts to Universal Credit which will hit working people hard.
There was not a single penny extra for the NHS or social care despite the crisis the Tories have created. And no plan on Brexit, meaning jobs and businesses are at risk. 

Only a Labour government will deliver on the ambition and vision to rebuild and 

transform our economy so no-one and no community is left behind. 

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Luke Pollard, who stood for Labour in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport at the last general election, said:

Debt up, borrowing up, growth down and no money for a new trainline. That's the headlines you need to know from today's Autumn Statement.

The mini-budget was pitched as helping the JAMs - the people who are 'just about managing' but all we got was the promise of jam tomorrow.

Where was the money for a new trainline for the south west? Where was the help to re-open our airport? Where was the money to fund a new train station? Nowhere. Nowhere at all.

The promise of further funding for transport tomorrow is a promise we have all heard time and time before from Tory ministers. I am tired of our army of Tory MPs cheering yet another press release that promises something tomorrow but nothing today. 

Austerity continues, the rich still stand to benefit the most from the tax changes announced, London gets more powers and money, while the south west gets warm words and promises of jam tomorrow. No extra money to address funding inequality for health and education spending in Devon and Cornwall. No retreat from the sell-off of military bases in Plymouth. But it did include a huge increase in insurance premium tax making insuring flood-hit homes even more expensive. 

It is good news that the Tories have raided Labour's 2015 manifesto to steal the policy of abolishing letting fees. Having opposed this policy so heavily in the general election I look forward to seeing our local Tory MP, Oliver Colvile, embrace yet another u-turn and now think this is a good thing. But frankly, they needed to steal more from Labour's manifesto if this Autumn Statement was really to create an economy that works for everyone.

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Alison Seabeck, the Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View from 2005 to 2015 added:

It's a small thing but insurance premium tax is rising again and it has a huge impact on car and home and pet insurance costs . For low income family those additional but essential costs are important.