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Mike's Ilford Recorder Column (24/03/2016)

On Sunday I was delighted to attend the centenary service at All Saints church Goodmayes for the commission and dedication of a beautiful new stain glass window by the Bishop of Chelmsford. Parliament has been dominated by the fiasco and fall out from George Osborne's latest budget, on which a series of votes were held on Tuesday evening.

Osborne promised to balance the books by 2015 but he has failed. Just six months after setting himself a new debt target, Osborne had to admit this week that he’s set to miss that too. The Government is set to borrow £38 billion more than George Osborne planned in November last year. Meanwhile public sector net investment is set to fall as a share of GDP over this Parliament and GDP growth, wages, productivity and business investment have all been revised down every year. George Osborne’s cuts to disability benefits would mean 370,000 disabled people lose an average of £3,500 a year.

His disability benefit cuts account for almost a third of the net savings planned in the Budget by 2020-21. Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation has revealed a Government in disarray over their cruel cuts to support for disabled people. With 894 people being helped by the Personal Independence payment in Ilford South and 637 in Ilford North people here will be deeply worried .

At the same time the Tories are giving the wealthiest a Capital Gains Tax cut. In his resignation letter Iain Duncan Smith said he was “unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest.

We need a government for the many, not the few.

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