John McDonnell responds to the Budget

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, responding to the Budget, said:

“We have to work together as a country to overcome the threat from coronavirus, and we pay tribute to the work of experts and NHS workers who are dealing with the crisis.

“But lessons must be learned. After ten years of cuts our health and social care services are utterly ill-prepared to deal with the outbreak, and unfortunately the impact of the crisis is likely to be sharper because of a fundamentally weak economy and the crisis in public services created by actions of Conservative governments over the past ten years.

“There unfortunately appear to be major holes in the coronavirus package, with no extension of statutory sick pay to those on zero-hours contracts, nothing for others without a contract of employment, and no suggestion that sick pay levels will be increased, and no new money for our struggling social care system.

“The Conservatives have neglected infrastructure investment over a decade of decline, and the measures announced today are not at the scale needed or underpinned by a plan to tackle the existential threat of climate change.

“At a time when the public urgently needs security and significant change, this Budget leaves us let down and potentially more vulnerable, especially those facing insecurity at work and in their lives. It is a disappointing Budget that reveals a government failing to rise to the challenges of the moment.”

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