The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Budget and Spending Review. Government borrowing has reached a peacetime record, equivalent to 14.9% of GDP. Government debt is now close to 96% of GDP. As the national finances are under pressure so too are household budgets in our constituency.
During my speech in the Budget debate, I mentioned how the Government’s £20 per week cut to Universal Credit, the end of the furlough scheme, rising inflation and increases in national insurance contributions are set to worsen the cost-of-living crisis. I spoke about the acute problem of child poverty in our region. All 12 North East local authorities are in the top 20 of those which have seen the highest increases in child poverty. I would like to have seen the Chancellor specifically address this, our problem with systemic unemployment and widening health inequalities.