“Hammond insists on keeping Universal Credit, Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘solution’ to a problem that never existed.”

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“The government’s recent budget was hyped as “revolutionary” by the Tories – but as expected, it proved to be a budget containing more of the same. Philip Hammond has pledged £2.8 billion of emergency funding to the NHS – just over half of what NHS boss Simon Stevens asked for to keep the service running.

The chancellor has also failed to address the issues of public sector pay and social care funding entirely, with the pay cap staying in place and our social care system left to plunge further into crisis.

Their offer to the young people of Gloucester is particularly insulting – tuition fees will be frozen, and you get to keep your young person’s railcard until you are 30.

We need to remove tuition fees altogether and invest properly in our citizens from cradle to the grave.

Renationalising the railways would reduce fares, so there would be no need for the railcard gimmick.

As to the housing crisis, Gloucester has been hit hard by the lack of affordable housing; the Chancellor’s solution for this is to tinker at the edges of the housing system.

300,000 homes being built a year sounds good on paper, but what type of homes will they be, who will be able to access them and where will they be built? The Chancellor’s proposal to cut stamp duty will push up house prices with the main beneficiaries being those who already own property, not first-time buyers.

Hammond insists on keeping Universal Credit, Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘solution’ to a problem that never existed. We now have a change from a 6 week wait to a 5 week wait. Talk about crumbs, the core issues with UC have still not been resolved. Does this budget address the issues faced by ordinary people in Gloucester?

In short – no. This budget only reinforces the need for a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn, and Chancellor that cares for the many and not just the few.”

Deborah Smith.