Potholes on our roads are worth more than the children in our schools. Put that in your exhaust pipe and smoke it.
The Chancellor may boast of his Budget as “austerity coming to an end”, but it isn’t true. Our schools desperately need increased funding; teacher drop-out rates are high and national literacy rates are not high enough. Renew recognises that the nation’s schools need massive support from the government, so we pledge much more than the meagre £10k to each primary school and £50k for each secondary school that the government has promised. A full and funded education is perhaps the best investment a government can make, but we simply will not have that under this Budget. Renew will give our children the schools they deserve.
Meanwhile the Budget completely ignores the effects of Brexit on the UK economy. Renew is committed to a People’s Vote to give everyone a final say on leaving the EU with the facts brought to light. Remember, a “No Deal” scenario under the Tories is still a very real possibility – one that would cause a recession – but there was no mention of that in the (unimpressive) economic growth forecasts. As for the “deal dividend” that the government talks of: the best bonus the country could ask for would be to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union. Renew is not afraid to make the case for UK membership even as the Conservatives pretend that leaving will not make us all poorer.
We haven’t even mentioned the fact that 84% of the tax cuts announced by the Chancellor will benefit the top half of earners rather than the bottom, according to the Resolution Foundation. Hardly a budget to reward all “the strivers, the grafters and the carers” as Philip Hammond claimed.
At Renew, we are not prepared to put our heads in the sand and ignore reality. But more importantly, we pledge to fund an education system worth boasting about – as well as filling our nation’s potholes. We will radically overhaul the nation’s economy to prepare it for the 21st century, putting efficiency, environment and innovation front and centre to rev the engine of industry as sustainably as possible. Politics as usual, like we saw in today’s Budget, simply won’t cut it.