Today is the last day of debate on the Queen’s Speech and on this government’s legislative agenda for the next year. One thing is clear: the Tories are totally out of touch and out of ideas in the face of one of the worst economic crises of this generation. Labour, on the other hand, has a plan to support hard working families.
For months now, we’ve called for a one-off windfall tax on the excess profits being made by oil and gas companies who profiteer from this unfolding crisis. Yet no action has been taken by the government. That’s why today we are laying down an amendment calling for the government to bring forward an emergency Budget – one which includes a windfall tax and compels the government to bring forward a plan for growth, to help lift us out of the economic stagnation facing the country.
The cost of living triple whammy – falling wages, rocketing energy prices and Tory tax rises – facing people across the country requires urgent, serious action. Instead, all we’ve received from ministers and Conservative MPs are callous, patronising remarks, which demonstrate just how out of touch this government is with the nature and scale of issues at hand. Telling people to simply get better paid jobs or work longer hours is no use to a pensioner who can’t heat her home. Telling people to better utilise their family ‘granny annexes’ won’t help young people struggling to get on the property ladder.
Not taking swift action to remedy this crisis will have serious ramifications up and down the country, but especially for those worst off. People will have to make unimaginable choices. Dependency on food banks, already overburdened, will increase. And that’s why we need an emergency Budget that deals with the current situation but at the same time also is future looking, creating a long-term plan to address the economic problems facing the nation.
Growth is the key to improving the lives of working people and building a fairer society. If the Tories simply matched Labour’s record on growth in government, we have an extra £50bn more to spend on public services without having to raise a single tax. Yet they have failed to achieve this, and as a result have become a high-tax party to compensate for their low levels of growth.
Labour would get Britain’s economy firing on all cylinders to bring an end to the cost-of-living crisis and make our country prosperous. In government we would do this by buying, making and selling more in Britain, our climate investment pledge, and by scrapping business rates and replacing them with a fairer system.
We’ve repeatedly asked the government to do something to address these fundamental problems. We hope today they do the right thing and vote to introduce emergency Budget that tackles both the immediate cost-of-living crisis, and lays the foundation for the growth we need in our country.