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A divisive Budget, by a divisive Chancellor


So what did you make of the Budget?

If you're a saver you might have thought it good news? Looking to retire with a large pension pot? Then on the face of it the decision to scrap compulsory annuities may also have appeared good news. Own a big business? You'll certainly have liked the tax breaks on offer.

But if you're young, struggling, poor, even part of the 'squeezed middle', then this budget held little for you.

This was a divisive budget. It was a classic Tory budget with little sign of the oft claimed ameliorating hand of their Lib Dem partners.

It was one that pits old versus young, saver versus debtor, affluent versus struggling. Same old Tories.

They bragged about growth and yet their deficit reduction plan is £46billion behind where they promised it would be this year.

There was little to tackle falling real incomes and insecure employment.

He spoke of a 'resilient UK economy' and yet he and his government have done all they can to ignore, block and delay the reforms necessary to deal with our casino economy and its structural inequalities.

It's why our own Party has to embrace the Policy Review and dare to be bold. In a letter to Ed Miliband a collection of progressive organisations ranging from the New Economics Foundation through to Progress urged the party to stop 'playing it safe'.

The letter said "Britain faces unprecedented challenges: a financial system still too big to fail or jail; austerity causing unnecessary hardship to those already at the bottom of a massively unequal society; climate change flooding people's homes; and a democratic system that seems pretty irrelevant to any of these problems. To begin to tackle these challenges the country needs not just a change of government but a transformative change in direction."

Our Party needs a mandate for radical change. Even though the recovery may be shallow and unsustainable, it means playing it safe is no longer an option. Limping across the finish line as the 'least worst option', simply isn’t  good enough.

The final stages of the Policy Review are upon us.


Within it are the seeds of the radical change we need. Sometime in late May or June Norwich Labour Party will be holding a special Manifesto 2015 Conference. It's our final chance to have our say on the policies our Party will go into battle with. As such I'd urge every single one of you to come along and have your say.

Watch this space.....

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