The Autumn Statement.

28 Nov 2023

We listened with rapt attention to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement with the
expectation that he would address two of the main issues haunting our great country:
the cost of living crisis and our crumbling NHS.
Whilst the Chancellor gave the
impression of tax cuts for the masses, the reality is an increasing tax burden as tax
thresholds are not increased. At the same time there is a staggering lack of
additional investment in public services, especially the NHS. No attempt was made to
address the black hole in adult and children’s social care.

We have seen instead a government happy to let our health services crumble after
Wednesday’s Autumn Statement failed to provide additional funding for health. Prior
to the Autumn Statement, the Liberal Democrats had been calling for the Chancellor
to invest in a robust NHS rescue plan as ever-growing treatment backlogs have
stalled the economy, damaging both growth and quality of life. These measures
included reversing Conservative cuts to vital local public health services and
delivering 8,000 more GPs across the country to create 65 million more
appointments every year. Additionally, the Autumn Statement did not set out a plan
to fund a new hospital in our area, despite being previously promised.
Treatment backlogs are damaging economic growth. A poll showed that one in
seven people had taken a significant length of time off work whilst waiting for
treatment. Apart from ignoring the crisis in our health service, the Chancellor
proposed tax changes that will not ‘touch the sides’ after years of unfair tax hikes our
local Tory MPs have consistently voted in favour of.
They are either out of touch with
how ordinary people are struggling, or they simply do not care. The Autumn
Statement was an opportunity to move the country forward. Instead, we get empty
promises, stale nonsense and a tax cut that is not even a drop in the ocean
compared to the increases people are already paying.

Cllr Luigi Gregori
Lib Dem PPC for NWHants