Earlier this month, the Prime Minister had the temerity to claim ‘austerity is over’.

So after the Chancellor’s Budget this afternoon, let’s have a look at the facts.

After nearly a decade of cuts, our NHS and social care system are straining, local councils have had budgets slashed, we’ve lost over 20,000 police officers from our streets as crime rises, whilst our schools and other public services are under unprecedented pressure.

Economic growth has stagnated, over 4 million children across the country are living in poverty, and since 2010 the number of people sleeping on our streets has more than doubled.

And the impacts are all too apparent in Barnsley.

Too many people are stuck in insecure, short term employment with no guarantee of an income, unable to plan past next week’s rota.

Teachers, nurses and police officers are being forced to make do with strained resources, asked to do more with less.

And the Government continues to push ahead with the roll-out of their flawed Universal Credit policy that has already had such a devastating impact for so many people in Barnsley. 

I could go on.

But instead of taking the opportunity to address these issues, the Chancellor offered sticking plasters for the “little extras” we need.

False promises over an end to the Government’s obsession with austerity just won’t cut it for people here, and today the Chancellor failed to recognise the full extent of the hardship this devastating policy has inflicted on our community

We need to urgently invest in our public services and build an economy that works for everyone here in Barnsley and across the UK.

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