Jim McGovern slams ‘out of touch’ Autumn Statement
5 December 2013
Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has criticised George Osborne’s autumn statement as out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people.
Today’s annual autumn statement has been criticised for prematurely declaring ‘mission accomplished’ on the economic recovery as well as offering little to end the cost of living crisis.
The Chancellor did not promise policies as ambitious as Labour’s plan to freeze energy prices, reform of the energy market nor the dramatic increase in house building committed to by Labour Party.
Alistair Darling questioned the Chancellor about North Sea oil forecasts, who confirmed that the independent expert advice was that oil income and tax receipts were significantly different from those put forward by the SNP.
This revelation would see the SNP’s spending plans become untenable without dramatic tax rises in the event of separation from the rest of the UK.
Jim McGovern said,
“George Osborne can announce as many predictions as he likes.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating and we must be cautious until the evidence for recovery is apparent; for many people that is not the case.
“The Chancellor’s triumphalism today was misplaced.
“Announcing ‘mission accomplished’ now is short sighted and premature.”
“Ordinary people are feeling very little benefit from the government’s policies.
“Families are £1,600 a year worse off since 2010.
“Though they claim more jobs are being created unemployment remains stubbornly high.
“This is particularly the case outside of the South East of England
“A real economic recovery will see growth across the United Kingdom that places like Dundee will benefit from.
“Many people have found themselves in insecure work, stuck on zero hour contracts with their pay being outstripped by increasing living costs and inflation.
“Public sector pay freezes are causing many dedicated public servants to endure a time of financial hardship.
“The disastrous changes to welfare have seen those affected by the cost of living crisis further hurt.
“The government have offered too little to help.
“Labour’s plan to freeze fuel costs and fundamentally reform the energy market goes far beyond what the Tory-led coalition has promised.
“It takes the clout of a nation the size of the UK to achieve such wide ranging reforms in the face of opposition by major multinational energy companies, which is why the SNP have been all but silent on the matter.”
“It is vitally important that people in Dundee bear in mind the confirmation we heard today that independent forecasts for North Sea oil are far below those touted by the SNP.
“The separatists’ figures do not add up.
“Alex Salmond would lead Scotland down a blind alley with no plan and no means to pay for his many promises.
“That is the key matter when it comes to the referendum and the risk it poses for the people of Scotland”
“Dundee needs the economic recovery promised by the Labour Party.
“We need a recovery based on increasing pay, making work more secure and bringing down the costs of living.
“This can only be achieved by introducing the living wage, taking on zero-hour contracts, freezing energy prices, reforming the energy market and our pledge to build one million new homes over the next parliament.
“Dundee needs to know its government can pay for its promises.
“Only a Labour government in Westminster supported by a Labour administration in Holyrood can achieve these ambitious aims.”