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The Tories are squeezing the British public, but not the deficit

The Tories’ failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis has cost the Exchequer £116.5 billion – leading to higher borrowing and broken promises on the deficit. 

The price tag, equivalent to almost £4,000 for every taxpayer, is based on new research from the House of Commons Library being published by the Labour Party.

Since the Tories and Liberal Democrats came to power in 2010, income tax receipts have fallen short of forecasts by more than £66 billion. National Insurance Contributions are £25.5 billion lower than expected. Spending on social security is £25 billion higher than planned.

The most recent Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings found that in the last year, full-time wages grew by just 0.1% – the smallest rate of annual growth since the series began and well below the rate of inflation. Real median wages for all employees have fallen by more than £1,600 a year since 2010.

Over the course of this Parliament working people are set to see the biggest fall in wages of any Parliament since 1874-1880. And it’s set to be the first time since the 1920s that people are worse off at the end of the Parliament than they were at the beginning.

There are currently more than 1.3 million people working part-time because they can’t get a full-time job – an increase of almost 250,000 since the General Election. This failure for people to be able to work the hours they need means they are ever more reliant on tax credits and benefits to help make ends meet.

The high level of spending in the welfare budget is a result of the coalition government's failure to tackle the root causes of the cost-of-living crisis: low pay, stagnant salaries, and soaring housing costs.

Tackling the cost-of-living crisis is not separate from tackling the deficit. It is an essential part of balancing the books.

 Patrick Hall

Labour parliamentary candidate for Bedford & Kempston

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