Gazette Column - 9/7/15

The hardworking majority on average earnings and low wages will lose precious pounds when the Treasury axeman cuts their incomes.

And Conservative priorities are clear when Osborne raises from £650,000 to £1 million how much the children of the wealthiest few can pocket tax-free.

It's a Two Nation Budget from a Chancellor born with a silver spoon in his mouth who lacks financial competence or a social conscience.

Osborne couldn't hit a barn door when he missed economic growth and deficit targets by imposing austerity at the start of the last Parliament.

In this one, Tory Boy's proving he learned nothing by forcing working people on Tyneside to pay the cost of his failure and ideological fixation with making life tougher.

Stripping working men and women of income-boosting tax credits while reducing job security is a bonanza for bad bosses but a nightmare for people like you.

Five years of a Tory-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government was depressing enough. 

We saw living standards stall, witnessed the evil of the bedroom tax, heard war declared on the disabled plus public services – from health, education and council to policing and fire – hit for six.

No wonder the desperate were forced to turn to the charity of food banks, an appalling rise in stricter benefit sanctions the callous spite of ConDem politicians who blame the unemployed for their joblessness and the disabled for their disabilities.

But Osborne's Budget is a warning it'll be even worse under Conservative majority rule.

I can see more and more people taking to the streets in the weeks and months ahead in Greek-style protests against the dead hand of austerity.

Just look at the mess the Tories are making of our NHS. Wasting billions on expensive, unwanted bureaucratic upheaval.

Scrapping NHS waiting times and staffing targets. And don't get me started on closing Jarrow's popular Walk In Centre.

It's a national scandal that people put in a full week's work yet still remain on the breadline - working people remain almost £2,000 a year worse off than they were five years ago.

It boils my blood the Tories have driven down our wages and living standards whilst giving a nice little tax cut for millionaires. 

Our economy and our public services are all fragile and I fear for another five years of Cameron and his Tory chums.

But we will fight. We'll fight them all the way by standing up for the working poor, the disabled, the vulnerable, the young and the old.

Whether you're working class or middle class, we'll fight your corner. To create an economy and country that raises your incomes, protects your services, improves your chances to fulfil the dreams and aspirations you have yourself and for your children.

Whether in a job, self-employed, running a business, unemployed or retired, you deserve a Chancellor on your side. Clueless, useless, out of touch George Osborne isn't that Chancellor

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Meet your MP

 Stephen-Hepburn-MP

Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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