Autumn Statement hurting but not working for families, on unemployment and on schools - Cooper, Byrne and Twigg

Published on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 23:02
Posted by Scott Buckler

Yvette Cooper, Liam Byrne and Stephen Twigg have responded to the Autumn Statement, which they say is hurting but not working

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, said:

"Once again this Chancellor is hitting families harder than the banks. He is taking £1 billion more from child tax credit alone in this Autumn Statement, more than three times as much as from the banks.

"Families with two children will lose an extra £320 a year as a result of the tax credit changes - on top of the extra squeeze they already have to cope with.

"Not only is the Chancellor cutting too far too fast, leading to higher borrowing, higher unemployment and lower growth but he is also making families pay most for the failure of his plans."

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

Today we have the truth about the brutal price Britain is paying for George Osborne's mess.

“Unemployment is now set to rocket - potentially by another quarter of a million people helping put an incredible £158 billion on the national debt. That's over £6,500 extra borrowing for every household in the country, and to pay for it, David Cameron is squeezing children and working parents harder than ever.

“It’s now crystal clear that we need a better plan that gets people into jobs, earning the money and taxes we need to pay down the debt more safely.”

Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

Today’s announcement confirms that George Osborne has slashed the education capital budget. In the Comprehensive Spending Review £15.6 billion was taken out of the DfE capital budget.

“Today’s announcement on schools funding will do nothing to give back the hundreds of communities who lost their school building plans when the Building Schools for the Future project was scrapped, nor will it bring back the tens of thousands of jobs lost.

“The money announced today for the Government’s free schools and pupil places is less than ten percent of the overall cut to the budget for school buildings. That shortfall could lead to real problems with repairs and maintenance and today’s announcement suggests the Government seems to be promoting pet projects at the expense of more urgent school repairs.

“While getting a bit more from the Treasury is welcome, it is worth remembering that the IFS report found that capital spending in education will have a reduction of 57% - compared to a departmental average of just over 27%. Overall, we are seeing the biggest cuts to education spending since the 1950s.

“At the same time, we have to ensure that the money is going to areas that need it. The Government’s new formula for pupil places isn’t flexible enough to provide money for areas that may have shortages in certain year groups. At the same time, Michael Gove is imposing new schools in local areas without any assessment of what local communities need in terms of primary or secondary places.”


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