Keir Starmer slams Budget as ‘sticking plaster’ for country that needs ‘major surgery’
Sir Keir Starmer branded the Budget a “sticking plaster” for a country that needs “major surgery”.
The Labour leader accused Jeremy Hunt of having “no ambition” to improve the lives of working people as the Chancellor laid out his plan on Wednesday.
The proposals leave Britain “stuck in the waiting room… falling behind our competitors, the sick man of Europe once again”, Sir Keir said.
Responding to the Budget, he added: “This was a day for ambition, for bringing us together with purpose and intent, for unlocking the pride that is in every community, matching their belief in the possibilities of the future. But after today, we know the Tory cupboard is bare.”
Labour pointed to stagnant growth in the UK economy and an International Monetary Fund analysis that suggested the UK would be the worst-performing country in the G7 this year.
Sir Keir claimed that the Budget also did little to tackle record NHS waiting lists and the wave of strikes in the public sector.
He continued: “After 13 years of this government, our economy needed major surgery. But like millions across our country, this Budget leaves us stuck in the waiting room, with only a sticking plaster to hand.
“A country set on a path of managed decline, falling behind our competitors, the sick man of Europe once again. Thirteen years without wage growth. Thirteen years no better off. Thirteen years stuck in a doom-loop of low growth, higher taxes and broken public services.
“Decisions which hurt working people battling the cost-of-living crisis now. It’s been the same story for the whole 13 years, always the sticking plaster, never the cure. Today’s Budget does nothing to change that.”
According to the latest polls Labour has an average 20 point leader over the Tories.
However surveys suggest many voters could change their minds.
Budget Day | Wednesday 15th March 2023
Mr Hunt announced a raft of cost of living measures on Wednesday, including extended energy bill support and a £4bn free childcare scheme for one and two-year-olds, which the party hopes could win over undecided voters at the next election.
Mr Sunak’s approval ratings have also risen considerably among voters some seats, including in the Red Wall, in the past month after the Government announced its “stop the boats” strategy, analysis for JL Partners found.
But Sir Keir added: "Working people are entitled to ask am I any better off than I was before? And after thirteen years, with no excuses left, nobody left to blame, no ambition or answers today, the resounding answer is ‘no’ and the Government knows it."