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Alan Whitehead’s response to the budget:

Not only is the Conservative’s most recent budget completely inadequate for dealing with the mounting problems that our country faces, it is also woefully out of touch. 

Instead of a fair tax on the highest earners the Chancellor has made a choice to hit the self-employed whose jobs and earnings are already some of the most precarious. 2.5 million people will end up paying more in National Insurance. It’s a shameful tax on those who are working hard and trying to get by and indicative of who the Tories prioritise.   

Their education announcements also reveal these priorities. To set aside hundreds of millions of pounds worth of funding for the expansion of selective free schools, at a time when state schools, including special educational needs schools in Southampton are having to make cuts is wrong.  What people in Southampton want is places for their children in good local schools, not participation in an ideologically-driven experiment.

Whilst I welcome more money for social care it has been neglected for so long under the Tories that £2 billion over three years is not nearly enough to start sorting out the crisis that they’ve created – a crisis that continues in NHS hospitals which see tiny increases in capital funding and nothing for maintenance

All in all the Chancellor announced little to address the reality of biggest issues facing my constituents and the subsequent rise in everyday costs that many households are now facing. Nothing has been announced to help people in Southampton who are really feeling the pinch, working hard but struggling to make ends meet. 

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