Are the self-employed being asked to pay for Brexit? Labour reactions to Budget


With the chancellor Philip Hammond today giving his first, and last spring Budget, in which he has unveiled hikes in National Insurance contributions for the self employed and minimal funding for social care, we bring you the latest reaction from across the Labour movement.

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, tweeted:

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, tweets:

Chris Leslie, the former shadow chancellor, also points out that the Tories have broken a manifesto pledge not to raise NIC, tweeting:

He also focuses on drops to local council funding:

Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, tweets:

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, tweets about the limited extra funds for social care:

Steve Rotheram, Labour’s candidate for Liverpool city region mayor, tweets about the inheritance tax cuts:

Ian Murray, Labour’s only MP in Scotland, tweets:

Owen Smith, former Labour leadership campaigner and impassioned remainer, tweets:

Rachel Reeves, the former shadow work and pensions secretary, tweets:

Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabians, said in a statement: “Of the policy announcements the chancellor did make, his move to equalise National Insurance Contributions for employed and self-employed workers was sensible and progressive. Labour and the Liberal Democrats should have thought harder before opposing it.”

“But the social care announcement was a pitiful sticking-plaster. The chancellor promised the princely sum of £400 million extra for care services in 2019, when costs in the sector and demand are rising far faster. Once again on social care, a government said nice things but kicked the can down the road.”

Kezia Dugdale, leader of the Scottish Labour party, said: “This was billed as a Budget that would be upbeat, but what we got instead was an insight into the devastating impact a chaotic Tory Brexit will have on families across the UK. Under the Tories living standards are being squeezed, debt is on the rise and public services are being cut.”

“It is disappointing that the Chancellor failed to exempt Scotland’s fire and police services from the £35million-a-year VAT bill imposed on them by the SNP. This was a mess of the Nationalists’ making, but the Chancellor should have stepped in to protect our valued public services.”

“The new powers of the Scottish Parliament mean we can do things differently. We don’t have to pass on Tory austerity. The SNP should stop using the Scottish Parliament as a conveyor belt for Tory austerity and back Labour’s plan to stop the cuts and invest in valued local services like schools and social care.”

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “Today’s London Devolution Agreement shows that we get the best deal for Londoners when we put party politics aside and work closely with the Government. I am pleased that the Chancellor has recognised that giving London more control is vital if we are to protect jobs and investment in the aftermath of Brexit.”

“London has a bigger population than Wales and Scotland combined, but we have far less control over how taxes are spent and public services are run. Giving London the ability to invest more in building crucial new infrastructure and devolving control of business rates will help increase economic growth and improve productivity.”

“And granting London greater control over health, criminal justice, skills and back to work programmes will allow us to better improve the life chances of thousands of Londoners.”

“However, London did not get everything we needed today. I am disappointed that the Government did not use the opportunity to fully fund our police force or pledge their support for Crossrail 2.”

“And businesses across the capital still face a clear and present danger to their future as a result of business rates increases despite the proposals outlined by the Chancellor today.”

Dr Faiza Shaheen, director of CLASS, said: “The Conservatives may be bragging about balancing the books, but they are doing so on the backs of struggling families across the country. In effect, pennies have been thrown at a chronically underfunded social care system and at NHS hospitals on black alert, while educational policy is being driven by ideology rather than need.”

“With the unprecedented challenges of Brexit, this budget should have made bold investments in our social and physical infrastructure to ensure we emerge a stronger and fairer Britain. Instead we got a budget set on misguided policies, utterly blind to reality.”

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