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Gloria De Piero

Budget fails to do anything to help the poorest says Ashfield MP

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Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has criticised the Chancellor for failing to do anything to help working families who are struggling to make ends meet, while giving millionaires a helping hand.

Couples living in homes worth £1m will be able to pass them on to their children tax-free following an announcement in this week’s Budget.

But while nearly half of those who will benefit from this move live in London or the south-east, just 0.3% of houses sold in Ashfield in 2015/16 sold for £650,000 or more.

Meanwhile ordinary working families are facing a cruel cap to their benefits and credits – which are frozen for another three years – while their pay is set to fall in real terms thanks to inflation exceeding wage growth.

According to thinktank the Resolution Foundation, this decade will be the worst for pay growth in 200 years, making low pay in areas like Ashfield a big issue, as people struggle to make their wages stretch to the end of the month.

As of December 2016 around 5,400 working households in Ashfield claimed in-work benefits.

Gloria said: “The lack of support in this Budget for ordinary people shows yet again why this country needs a Labour government.

“Seven years of Tory austerity measures have failed to balance the books and have led to funding crises in the NHS, social care, education and local government.

“The poorest third of households is set to be worse off in the coming years than they were following the credit crunch thanks to benefit cuts and weak wage growth, but the Tories have done nothing to help them. It is a disgrace.”

In further proof that the government favours a minority, 10 new free schools and grammar schools will get funding worth £1bn, while all the rest of schools get just a quarter of that – £260m extra between them – over the same period.

Plans to increase National Insurance Contributions for self-employed workers – which break a Conservative 2015 manifesto pledge – will see 1.6m people paying on average £240 more every year.

Labour says this is yet another example of the Government hitting low and middle earners, after repeatedly giving tax breaks to the super rich.

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