Listening to the recent Budget, I realised that my time as a councillor since 2007 has pretty much been spent attempting to recover from the ‘Great Labour Recession’.
I know Labour can’t be credited for creating the global economic crisis, but they certainly should have spent less during the booming economy they inherited from the Conservatives.
If Labour had run a balanced budget in the 2000s, debt would have been lower and the UK would have been prepared when the recession hit. Instead, when this happened the UK needed to borrow £180,000,000,000 every year. An almost incomprehensible amount of money.
Research from the International Monetary Fund concluded that Britain set an example to other countries when the Conservative-led coalition government rightly slashed the deficit by cutting public spending, rather than raising taxes. The result was faster UK growth than Switzerland, Austria, France and many other European countries.
It has been a difficult time, but the hard decisions Britain made after 2010 have worked. Labour always over-promise, without the money to deliver, but we now find employment at record levels – with unemployment down by a third in the South East since 2010, youth unemployment at an all-time low and wages rising faster than inflation.
In last week’s budget, the Chancellor rewarded the British people by reducing Income Tax, so people can now keep more of what they earn, as well as pledging massive investment in our vital public services, schools and the NHS.
Philip Hammond is spending an additional £1 billion of funding for adult and children’s social care and improving our roads from the scourge of potholes.
I was particularly pleased to see real money allocated to save our dying high streets, by slashing businesses rates: invigorating the heart of our local communities. It will be up to the people of Brighton and Hove to elect an administration in May next year but, given Labour’s miserable record over the years, I hope they will agree that the Conservatives are the only ones who can be trusted to provide a dynamic city of the future.