Sefton MP: Families face triple blow to finances unless Chancellor changes course at Budget

Bill Esterson says Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to hit families in Sefton Central with a triple blow of council tax hikes, frozen pay and cuts to social security at his Budget this week.

Bill Esterson’s office said: “The Chancellor’s plan to slash Universal Credit by £20 a week from April means 4,523 people in Sefton Central will take £1040 a year hit to their finances.

“Sunak also wants families to pay for gaps in council budgets rather than fulfilling his pledge to back them. That could amount to as much as £96 extra on annual household council tax bills for the average Band D home in Reigate and Banstead.

“The Chancellor is also hitting every key worker earning over £18,000 in England with a real terms pay cut this year. This includes at least 4,300 key workers in Sefton Central – the teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against Covid-19.

“Labour has condemned this triple hammer blow to people’s pockets as totally irresponsible when the economy is so fragile and is calling on the government to scrap its plans.

“Making people worried about making ends meet risks pulling spending out of local high streets and small businesses, damaging consumer confidence at the very moment the Government should be building it up.”

Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, said: “When I ran my own business, I learned that every penny counts. This Chancellor has squandered billions of pounds with Serco test and trace and with the appalling cronyism of the PPE scandal. The economic crisis in the UK has been the worst of any major economy.

“The Chancellor has an opportunity on Wednesday to help struggling families and businesses in Sefton Central and right across the country.

“Instead of hiking taxes and playing politics with people’s lives and livelihoods, he should get serious and come up with a plan that will actually protect jobs and businesses.”

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds MP said: “We’ve had the worst economic crisis of any major economy under Rishi Sunak and now he’s hitting families up and down the country with a triple hammer blow of cuts to Universal Credit, council tax hikes and pay freezes.

“This economically illiterate plan will make families tighten their belts when confidence is already at rock bottom. Businesses will suffer and the recovery will take longer as a result.

“This week’s Budget is a make or break moment for Britain. Rishi Sunak must do all he can to secure our economy and put the country on the road to recovery – and that means protecting family finances.”