Shadow Chancellor: Rachel Reeves and Chancellor: Rishi Sunak.
Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget for the nation. Some said it was a very giving budget, while others disagreed with it. The budget according to some pundits, was more a work of Boris, than Rishi's work. Boris, as some would have it, likes throwing, money at things in his gimmicky way. Boris likes quick fixes to things or sound bites, designed to hook in the average voter. Whether these things have any substance as outlined in the budget, will remain to be seen. Whereas Sunak, despite the generous £20 uplift to UC and furlough scheme, (both now ended), wants the nation to live within its means, apparently.
When Sunak had commended his 2021 budget to the house, (as Chancellor's do), he received a pat on the back, from front bench colleagues. Usually, the right of reply from the Labour front benches, usually, comes from the Leader of The Opposition. Unfortunately, Sir Keir Starmer could not do this, as he was isolating with suspected COVID. Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader, was unable to be there either, because, of a personal matter.
Earlier on during PMQs, Shadow Business Secretary Ed Milliband stood in for Sir Keir Starmer. However, when it came to answering Sunak's budget, this was left to Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves. When Rachel stood at the dispatch box, the answers she gave were like, she had been, preparing for this moment, for years. Ms. Reeves did not disappoint and delivered a full-blown, pointed right of reply, monologue.
Ms. Reeves said from hearing the contents of the budget, struggling families will believe the Chancellor is "living in a parallel universe". Rachel Reeves accused Sunak of "loading the burden" on working people. This is a result of the Chancellor's "economic mismanagement" with an "unfair tax system" and "wasteful spending" to boot.
Ms. Reeves continued "Never has a Chancellor asked the British people to pay so much for so little". "Families" she went on are "struggling with a cost of living crisis". Ms. Reeves ripped into Sunak about a cut in taxes for banks and she added "So at least the bankers on short-haul flights sipping Champagne will be cheering this budget". Ms. Reeves said the Chancellor had imposed on the poorest, "the highest sustained tax burden in peacetime" and that "Amazon won't pay". Indeed, she identified that there are "tax reductions for them".
Rachel addressed the fact of higher Council Tax payments, rising energy prices, record waiting lists on the NHS, not being able to access a GP, selling homes to access social care, no community policing, and court backlogs. All this, falling, on the shoulders of ordinary people.
The whole 11 years of Tory rule have been inept and incompetent, Rachel said, Boris the Clown and Wishy-Washy Rishi, like to think they are different and in touch, Ms. Reeves stated. Well, Ms. Reeves had news for the dodgy double act. The content of the Chancellor's budget proved they were out of touch and exposed them for being the same old Tories.
Rachel Reeves did, however, commend the rise in the Minimum Wage from next year to £9.50 an hour. She also, welcomed, the taper rate of Universal Credit from 63p to 55p. However, Ms. Reeves said people on Universal Credit, whilst working, would still face problems. Those who are unable to work, she referenced, would still be facing losing a £1000.00 a year.