Spring Budget fails to address Reading’s challenges

22 March 2017

Rob White et al at Save Our NHS action session

Dear editor,

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget utterly failed to address the challenges facing Reading and the rest of the country today. With our NHS and social care in crisis, and air pollution contributing to 40,000 lives prematurely ending in the UK each year, this budget should have been an emergency intervention. Instead, the Chancellor revealed the extent of the Government’s obsession with scaling back the state.

 

This Budget was a chance for the Government to take a stand for public services like the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, which we all rely on. But the funding changes announced for the NHS and social care are woefully inadequate and instead of investing in our hospitals and care homes the Government is continuing to push ahead with planned Corporation tax cuts and handouts to high earners.

 

The Chancellor also utterly failed to get a grip on the air pollution emergency currently facing the country. While the cost of motoring has dropped in recent years the residents of Reading know only too well that the cost of public transport is rocketing. We should have seen the fuel duty escalator unfrozen and the money ploughed into public transport – not more handouts for motoring and persistent neglect for cleaner, healthier forms of transport.

 

On top of this the Spring Budget followed the trend set by Hammond’s Autumn Statement in failing to even mention climate change. Reading desperately needed the Chancellor to announce real solutions to the problems facing the town today – now it will be down to local communities, campaigners, residents and public sector workers to pick up the pieces for his utter failure to do so.

 

Yours faithfully,

Rob White

Green Party councillor, Reading

 

69 Coventry Road, Reading, RG1 3ND

Dear editor

 

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget utterly failed to address the challenges facing Reading and the rest of the country today. With our NHS and social care in crisis, and air pollution contributing to 40,000 lives prematurely ending in the UK each year, this budget should have been an emergency intervention. Instead, the Chancellor revealed the extent of the Government’s obsession with scaling back the state.

 

This Budget was a chance for the Government to take a stand for public services like the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, which we all rely on. But the funding changes announced for the NHS and social care are woefully inadequate and instead of investing in our hospitals and care homes the Government is continuing to push ahead with planned Corporation tax cuts and handouts to high earners.

 

The Chancellor also utterly failed to get a grip on the air pollution emergency currently facing the country. While the cost of motoring has dropped in recent years the residents of Reading know only too well that the cost of public transport is rocketing. We should have seen the fuel duty escalator unfrozen and the money ploughed into public transport – not more handouts for motoring and persistent neglect for cleaner, healthier forms of transport.

 

On top of this the Spring Budget followed the trend set by Hammond’s Autumn Statement in failing to even mention climate change. Reading desperately needed the Chancellor to announce real solutions to the problems facing the town today – now it will be down to local communities, campaigners, residents and public sector workers to pick up the pieces for his utter failure to do so.

 

Yours faithfully

Rob White






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