The Autumn Statement

Tim Farron writes about George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

When I woke up this morning I was hoping (optimistically, I know) for the Government to start living up to its long term economic plan and to really invest in the communities and young people that need help the most. This Autumn Statement was supposed to be the pinnacle of the Tories much vaunted Long Term Economic Plan, but actually it is a short term economic scam.

This is more smoke and mirrors from George Osborne and the impact will hit home, and hit hard, once today’s theatrics are over. This is all front and no substance from a very political, headline-driven Chancellor, whose sole concern in his next career move.

Instead, George Osborne has announced deep cuts that will have a massive impact on our country’s future. From energy to further education, infrastructure to housing, the Chancellor has made the risk of our children growing up poorer than their parents higher.

Thankfully, the Chancellor avoided the cuts to tax credits. Faced with the choice of delaying tax credits like Labour wanted and scrapping them all together like we wanted, I’m glad he listened to us and scrapped them. He also also invested in mental health, listening to the calls from Norman Lamb and others.

But scrapping tax credits and investing in mental health doesn’t change the fact that this looks like a short-term economic scam. And it doesn’t invest in the foundations needed to build a strong economy or solve the housing crisis Britain is facing.