Catch up with Mike's latest column in this week's Ilford Recorder.
Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn statement revealed the damaging consequences of the vote to leave the European Union.
The Office of Budget Responsibility says: "The Government is no longer on course to balance the budget during the current Parliament and has formally dropped this ambition...reflecting weak tax receipts so far this year and a more subdued outlook for economic growth". An extra £120billion borrowing will be added to the national debt.
The Treasury admit: “the downward revision to the outlook for business investment has been more substantial.” Uncertainty exists about exports of goods and services into other European countries tariff free, whether financial services will be able to trade at all into Europe after 2019, and whether we can negotiate trade agreements to replace our EU membership in time.
Deep cuts hitting local councils, transport and social care will continue. The NHS won’t get the £350million a week so infamously pledged on the big red Referendum bus. Stealth tax rises for car and other insurance policies from 5% in 2010 to now 12% are borne mostly by those who are already struggling. The expected higher inflation next year will hit those on lower incomes, and lower growth, forecast to fall to just 1.4% next year, will translate into lower wages.
Parliament must insist on a proper transitional arrangement to smooth the process of exiting the European Union, and delay the triggering of Article 50 until the government sets out a clear plan.