Twickenham MP Munira Wilson has slammed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, saying that the Government’s silence on education, and any plan to fund an NHS rescue package, was “deafening”.
The Liberal Democrats have warned that unless this Government prioritises getting people off NHS waiting lists and back into work, economic growth will continue to flatline. This follows a recent poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats that showed one in seven people had taken a significant length of time off work whilst waiting for treatment on the NHS.
Before the Autumn Statement, the party had been calling for the Chancellor to invest in a robust NHS rescue plan to tackle the ever-growing treatment backlogs which are damaging the economy and impacting people’s quality of life.
These measures would have included reversing Conservative cuts to vital public health services in Twickenham, and delivering 8,000 more GPs across the country to create 65 million more appointments every year. Instead, the Government has proposed a series of tax cuts that will not ‘ease the pain’ after years of significant tax hikes. Meanwhile, there were no announcements of much-needed help for our struggling schools.
Munira, who is also the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, said:
“Whilst the Chancellor proudly announced ‘the biggest business tax cut in modern British history’, our schools and hospitals, which are at breaking point, have yet again been left high and dry.
“Teachers and nurses are on their knees. Our schools are literally crumbling, and NHS patients linger endlessly on waiting lists. Yet there’s no new revenue spending for schools, nor much-needed life support for our NHS.
“All the while, people are struggling to make ends meet because of soaring mortgage and energy bills, and years of cruel tax hikes. The chaos our country finds itself in is of the Government’s own making, but it’s hard-working families who are paying the price. Liberal Democrats want a fair deal for everyone, but the Autumn Statement won’t even touch the sides.”
On the lack of an NHS rescue package, Munira added:
“The Government’s deafening silence on the NHS is a damning indictment of how little they care about people’s health or our stagnant economy.
“Investing in the NHS and reducing treatment backlogs should have been a priority in this Autumn Statement. Without a significant boost to health services, our economy will stay frozen.”