Hartlepool MP says Government failed those it promised to protect

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

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Hartlpool MP Iain Wright has accused the Government of failing the very people it has claimed it most want to protect.

Speaking after Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement, Mr Wright sad: “The Government had trailed this Autumn Statement as being focused on helping people who are just about managing – the so-called “jams”.

It all adds up to failure on the part of the Government.

Iain Wright

“But what is really striking is that they were more or less completely ignored by the Chancellor.

“Insurance tax is going up, meaning that it will be more expensive for people to insure their home and car – I don’t see how that helps people just about managing.

“On the big economic picture, the Chancellor has admitted that his deficit reduction plan, which was the most important economic objective when the Tories came to power in 2010 and was the justification for savage public sector cuts which have hurt people in Hartlepool, will be missed by something like 11 years.

“Debt is forecast to be an eye-watering 90 per cent of GDP and productivity – the driver of rising living standards – will be hit because of permanently lower business investment.

“Lower business investment means lower economic growth, which in turn leads to lower tax receipts and reduced spending in public services.

“It all adds up to failure on the part of the Government.”

North East England Chamber of Commerce head of Jonathan Walker welcomed news the Tees Valley east-west link was to be improved, with plans to dual the A66, but said it was too early to comment on much of the speech.

“Overall the Autumn Statement has some welcome news but we need to see more detail on many of the Chancellor’s announcements today.

“The increases in housing, innovation and transport spending are positive. We are also delighted our campaign for improvements to the A66 and A69 has been successful. This investment must now be made a reality to enable a more connected North East.

“The A66 is a vital route for Teesport and the wider Tees Valley. The business community will want to see work start as soon as possible in order to increase their access to market.

“The decision to give additional support to businesses which want to trade overseas with UK Export Finance (UKEF) should provide increased confidence to exporters. We have urged the Government to increase support to companies looking outside the UK for new markets and they have obviously listened to us.

“However, more information is needed before we can fully assess the merits of the Autumn Statement,” he added.