YOU MUST BE JOKING
Hammond blasted as he claims Britain is booming
LABOUR has slammed Philip Hammond after he boasted of a booming economy in the face of the public sector funding crisis.
The attack came as the Chancellor yesterday unveiled upgraded projections for growth and predicted falling inflation and borrowing.
He claimed there was “light at the end of the tunnel” in his Spring Statement, then joked about Labour being pessimistic as he rejected their calls to use the extra cash from an unexpected boost in tax receipts to ease the spending squeeze.
Mr Hammond blasted his opponents for talking down the economy, comparing them to a gloomy character from Winnie-the-Pooh.
He said: “I reject the party opposite’s doom and gloom… If there are any Eeyores in the chamber they are over there.
“I meanwhile am at my most positively Tigger-like today, as I contemplate a country which faces the future with unique strengths.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell did not share his optimism.
He said: “We face – in every public service – a crisis on a scale we’ve never seen before.
“Hasn’t he listened to the doctors and nurses, the teachers, the police officers, the carers and even his own councillors? They’re telling him they can’t wait for the next Budget. They’re telling him to act now. For eight years they’ve been ignored by this government. And today they’ve been ignored again.”
Mr McDonnell added: “Austerity was a political choice not an economic necessity. We were never all in this together as they claimed.”
Labour MP Chris Elmore pointed out there are six million people on less than the living wage and a million on zero-hours contracts. Mr Hammond upgraded the growth projection for this year but downgraded it for 2021 and for 2022, when the next election is due. He boasted of falling debt as a share of economic earnings, and £4.5billion less borrowing this year than forecast. But he did not include borrowing figures for the next four years. Institute for Fiscal Studies boss Paul Johnson warned growth forecasts were “dreadful” compared with those in March 2016 and in most of the rest of the world.
I reject the party opposite’s doom and gloom.. If there are any Eeyores in the House they are over there PHILIP HAMMOND YESTERDAY
ATTACK John McDonnell