Spring Budget response

Responding to today’s Spring Budget, Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell said:

‘I have major concerns about many of today’s announcements, and some of the glaring omissions from this Budget.

‘The investment in social care is desperately needed because the system is at breaking point, but I’m very concerned it doesn’t come close to filling the funding gap particularly after almost seven years of brutal cuts.

‘It also beggars belief the Government are pressing ahead with funding an additional 110 free schools, many of which could be grammars, when the evidence for supporting their expansion simply doesn’t exist. This is totally outrageous when existing schools in Newcastle are facing cuts of up to £700 per pupil.

‘Equally concerning – on International Women’s Day – is the Government continuing to shamefully ignore the plight of thousands of 1950s-born women waiting six years longer for their pensions, many of whom are in dire financial straits.

‘There was only a passing reference to the Northern Powerhouse, and nothing about the role the North East might play in this.  And no mention at all of how the Government will support Newcastle Airport once Air Passenger Duty is devolved to Scotland next year – despite the huge impact this could have on the North East.

‘Perhaps most alarming is that there was barely a mention from the Chancellor of the single biggest issue facing our economy: Brexit and what it will mean for North East businesses and jobs.’