Responding to the Autumn Statement, delivered today in Parliament by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Munira said:
“The Autumn Statement was our new Prime Minister’s first opportunity to put his money where his mouth is on the issues affecting families across the UK. Unfortunately, it has brought them nothing but further pain.
“As the cost of living spirals, the Government has chosen to hike taxes for struggling families whilst letting oil and gas giants and bankers’ bonuses off the hook.
“After crashing the pound and our economy with their disastrous mini-budget, the Conservatives now expect ordinary families to pay the price. People across Twickenham and the UK have had enough.
“We need a fair deal, including support for people struggling to keep up with skyrocketing mortgage bills and rent as a result of Conservative incompetence and strong local services funded by reversing tax cuts for banks and introducing a proper windfall tax.”
In the debate following the Statement, Munira challenged the Chancellor directly on the Government’s failure to expand free school meals to all families eligible for Universal Credit, asking him how he could find £6.5 billion for tax cuts over the next five years, but not to feed hungry children.
Speaking afterwards on the impact of the Autumn Statement on local schools, Munira added:
“The Chancellor says we need a balanced plan for stability, but there is nothing balanced about ignoring the needs of hungry children.
“The 800,000 children living in poverty in England but still ineligible for a free school lunch should have been at the very top of the Government’s priority list. In this Autumn Statement, they were simply ignored.
“The increase in school budgets will be a welcome relief for thousands of schools who planned to axe trips or sacking support staff, but it’s only just enough for schools to stand still. Meanwhile, colleges did not get a single penny.
“But children cannot learn if they are hungry. The Conservatives continue to let them down.”