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PC11 - Budget
#21
The Government's budget was presented to ensure the hard working people of this country were not robbed of policies that could actually help them by likes the Harriet Laski and her Tory chums.

The Shadow Chancellor can cry unfair and claim the budget didn't happen all he likes but he is kidding himself. Tell that to the 40,000 extra NHS staff being hired. Tell that to the 270,000 apprentices being taken on. Tell that to the 2,000 new firefighters or the 10,000 new police officers.

Tell that to the towns benefiting from the towns fund, the families who were struggling under a benefits freeze, those who have been spared the chaos of Universal Credit. Tell that to the patients at the 335 new hospitals, the workers on the High Speed North, the green energy industry workers with their record levels of investment.

This budget happened. Although the Tories would rather we were imposing austerity and continuing to deprive our public services of what they need, the reality is, we're just getting started.
James 'Jim' Kennedy MP
Home Secretary
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
MP for Wansbeck (2010-) | Labour and Cooperative
Traits: Media Darling, Backbench Favourite, Finite Resources
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#22
After five years of refusing devolution to Yorkshire as well as Cheshire and Warrington, the Conservatives failed to deliver on it - Labour succeeded in months. We signed two ambitious devolution deals that gives representatives of communities in both regions control over millions of pounds of investment each year in social security, transport, infrastructure, and skills. We delivered in our commitments to these regions in the Budget, while the Tories just talk about it being a ‘Christmas wish list’. But we’ve also delivered our our commitments for all regions in the North, not just those who’ve signed devolution deals, with RailNorth, cutting the costs of travelling by buses, investment in our towns, and  support for the high street. There’s only one party who delivered on devolution, investment and prosperity for the North, and will continue to do so: the Labour Party.
Amelia Lockhart
Labour
MP for Hull North (2001 - )
Secretary of State for Economic Security and Local Growth (2020 - )

Traits: media darling, backbench favourite, finite resources 
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#23
Any builder will tell you that the foundations are the most important part of any house. The same goes for budgets, and Labour has built their budget on shifting sands. There is no way that the promises made in this budget are at all achievable. Only half of this budget has come into effect - the spending part - whilst the planned tax changes have yet to have been voted on, meaning that money is now being spent on projects that hasn't been raised - an act of fiscal vandalism that . For all of the Prime Minister's attempts to portray herself as a modern and progressive leader, this is back to the days of Old Labour - unsustainable spending instead of measured changes. The Conservatives are promising record investment, but we'll never spend what we can't afford. It's really not that hard

We are all agreed that the era of austerity is now over and we now find ourselves in a much better economic situation than we were in at the beginning of the decade. All this progress we have now made risks being overturned by a government who sees fiscal irresponsibility as their ideology. We can't allow that, and the Conservatives will stand against this botched budget as we see what it represents: a backwards drift for our country rather than the step forward we all want

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This budget has become the first in recent memory to fail: not because it was voted down, but because it never went to a vote in the first place. For parties that were so insistent about "holding the government to account" in opposition, they're not a fan of it when the shoe is on the other foot. Labour and the Lib Dems clearly know that their budget is chock full of mistakes and spending black holes, meaning that they have stopped us from formulating a response in Parliament. It was a calculated and deliberate move to call an election in the middle of the budget, in order to prevent scrutiny, to allow half their budget to come into effect without it being questioned, and to act as an essential manifesto launch for the election campaign. A government that attempts to force through moves such as these without any scrutiny is a disgraceful one, and one that cannot be trusted to govern responsibly.
Julia Goldman
Shadow Secretary of State for Scoltand
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Growth
Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
Member of Parliament for Dumfries and Galloway (2019 - present)
Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Media Darling/Campaigning Guru/Socially Unaware
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#24
It is the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer – of any Chancellor – to handle the economy responsibly and to provide good and effective stewardship, because those displays of leadership can make a positive difference in people’s lives. That is why Conservative stewardship of the economy was so effective and so successful in repairing damage over the past nine years, because we always took it with the outmost seriousness, as it was only right. Labour has chosen to craft a fantasy budget, parade it around the House with no chance of scrutiny and knowing they could not pay for anything that was on offer, and then falsely present it to the nation as a reality. What the Chancellor has done here is nothing short of disgraceful, and by manipulating a budget and reducing it to a childish stunt he’s shown a remarkable lack of credibility. Let us be perfectly clear: this isn’t a real budget, it’s an election fantasy.
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As if treating the budget of this nation as a mere tool for party political advantage in the coming election wasn’t enough, the circumstances in which it was presented mean any spending pledges made by Caroline Blakesley and her Chancellor are quite literally unaffordable, having no degree of finance substance or support whatsoever. It’s a simple as stating that the government has chosen to gamble with the economy and with the money of the taxpayers to gain an electoral advantage, and has done so publically and deliberately, throwing money into a financial black hole knowing full well the issue will only be dealt with after the election is over. By presenting this fantasy budget right at the end of the Frankenstein government the Labour Party has engaged in the most blatant act of fiscal and economic irresponsibility we’ve seen in years, and they have clearly shown they don’t care about gambling with your future and that of your family if it wins them the election.

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What the Conservative Party has done on crime over this past nine years has been to actually take a strong stance and a zero tolerance approach, to successfully decentralize as oppose to depend on bureaucratic nightmares, to toughen sentences, and to do it while constrained by the legacy of red tape, spending black holes and inefficiency Labour policies led us to. Although the Home Secretary is quick to parade the questionable achievement of increasing spending in a stunt budget, it bears reminding that the Labour Party not only is not providing any means of funding, it is also greatly undermining the work of policemen by shifting towards a “soft-touch” approach, which we already saw in full display in their decision to relax immigration standards. The fantasy Labour budget will do nothing to combat crime, and their soft touch policies will lead us right back to where we started. There’s only one party that can and will take a zero tolerance approach and responsibly allocate necessary resources, and that’s the Conservative Party.
Rt. Hon. Andrew Summer MP - Conservative and Unionist Party
Member of Parliament for Sevenoaks (2010 - Present)

Shadow Culture Secretary (January 2020 - Present)
-Former: Security Minister / Shadow Home Secretary
_________________________________________
Fundraising Extraordinaire (+) / Campaigning Guru (+) / Media Unknown (-)
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#25
For the days, Government Ministers have been going on and on about the tax cuts they've delivered for the British people, leaving out the all important fact that they didn't actually cut anyone's taxes. If the Government was as concerned about actually passing their budget as they are with selling it to the media, maybe the British people would have finally begun to get some of the tax relief they deserve. The Chancellor could have tried to pass this budget. He could have opened it up for a proper debate, and allowed the Commons to consider the proposals he was making. Instead, he released it only so that the Government could say they had a budget ready to go before Caroline Blakesley called an election. It was a stunt, not an act of genuine governing. 

The routine from this Coalition is becoming all too clear. They're interested in talking, not acting. They're invested in political stunts, not in the future of our United Kingdom. The British people see right through this facade, and I'm confident they will act accordingly come Election Day.
William West MP - Conservative Party

Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
MP for Ribble Valley (2015 - )
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#26
One commitment that the Liberal Democrats made in our manifesto was to make our welfare system work for those with disabilities - it had become a moral outrage, exemplified by the case of Errol Graham yet with horrible experiences shared by many. People were not believed, and the system became so tricky to navigate, so stressful to steer through, that those who most needed help were the least able to get it. This made a situation where many people were trapped in poverty, or had their conditions worsened by the dehumanising effects of the bureaucracy. Thanks to the Liberal Democrats, this budget included an extra £400 million for restoring the Independent Living Fund and making the other changes needed, such as to the details of Universal Credit, to make sure those with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect and that the welfare system does not become another source of stress and suffering. 

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We in the Liberal Democrats promised an immediate influx of cash into addressing the scandal of rough sleeping - providing services and support, implementing the "Housing First" model in places throughout the country. We met that promise in the budget, with £200 million for ending the rough sleeping scandal on top of the government's other investments in housing and homebuilding, another sign of how the Liberal Democrats in government are making a difference and working for you. Rough sleeping and homelessness is a moral scandal, and we in the Liberal Democrats won't stand for it. This funding would not have been secured without the Liberal Democrats pushing for it. 

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It is an essential, fundamental step of a decent state that everyone can access fair and effective justice, and have their interests well represented in the court of law. That is why one promise that I was particularly proud to deliver upon in this budget was increased spending for legal aid - with spending going from £2.15 billion to £2.5 billion, following the cause being championed by Liberal Democrat ministers. Ensuring a justice system that works for everyone is something that this government takes seriously, and that legal aid budget has been given the resources it needs is something the Liberal Democrats are proud to have achieved. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point
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#27
When in Government, it was the Conservative Party who acted in the wake of Errol Graham's tragic death to immediately suspend the practice of benefit sanctions for people identified as vulnerable. What the Chancellor is proposing to do, however, is entirely different. The Government's proposed budget will put on pause the entire Universal Credit system, undermining the streamlining of benefits achieved by the Conservatives and putting a massive burden on the taxpayer. And there's no need to take my word for it - the Chancellor himself acknowledged in his last minute Budget speech that the Government's plans to pause and eventually scrap UC would cause an increase in costs faced by the taxpayer. We need to reform the benefits system, we need to make sure the most vulnerable don't fall through the cracks, and I certainly believe that Universal Credit can be improved. But the system has been without a doubt a massive benefit to the taxpayer, generating huge savings, and easing the burden on the hardest working people whose taxes pay for these benefits in the first place. 

We need to reform the benefits system, not a return to the practices of the past that were less effective and more costly. This is yet another example of Labour's willingness to see the state encroach into the lives of working people, and to stick the taxpayer with the tab for their costly, backwards policies.
William West MP - Conservative Party

Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
MP for Ribble Valley (2015 - )
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#28
The Tories are now making it clear what their position is when it comes to providing benefits: savings to the taxpayer. That explains their whole way of operating: make sure that they can cut who gets benefits so they can claim they cut taxes. Make sure that the NHS is underfunded so that they can claim they cut taxes. Benefits absolutely needed reform, which is why we paused the broken Universal Credit system, but I want to send a message to the Tories who are salivating at the chance to leave more people behind: the only reason there should be savings in benefits is because people are getting better, high paying jobs. But as we've seen from those who have suffered most, the Tories will never make that their policy at all.

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The Tories want to talk a tough game on fighting crime- but they have yet to explain why they thought it was a brilliant idea to lay off 20,000 police officers over the course of nine years of governance. I guess maybe that was another one of their "let's cut taxes" pledges- but if there's anything that leaves people less safe, it's telling 20,000 officers to go take a hike. In just one budget we were going to put more police on the beat than the Tories have in almost nine years. Don't believe them on crime- all they see is another area to cut.
Alexander Milne MP
MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (2019-) | Labour
Chancellor of the Exchequer (2019-)
MP for Stirling (2010-2015)
Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury (2011-2015)
Media Unknown | Constituency Appeal | Campaigning Guru
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#29
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition spoke in his own constituency at Glenfiddich Distillery

As the Member of Parliament for Moray, which has the highest number of Scotch whisky distilleries in Scotland - I understand the concerns of distillers, and the Scotch Whisky Association as the industry body. Therefore it was a source of some interest to constituents when Caroline Blakesley saw fit to fly up to Scotland and announce a freeze on 'liquor duty', which nobody up in this part of the world has ever heard of, but I can assume she was referring to spirits duty. What beggars belief though is that she then proceeded to lambaste the last Conservative Government for trying to negotiate a new trade deal with the USA which aimed to remove all tariff and non-tariff barriers for the Scotch Whisky industry with its largest international export market. Whilst Labour has past form with Gordon Brown's sin and stealth taxes, the Labour Party's u-turn and freeze on spirits duty is welcome but it doesn't go far enough, by contrast in the last Conservative manifesto we committed to a cut in duty to boost the industry. Labour doesn't understand rural Scotland, and rural Scotland deserves better than to be used as a sound-byte on a whistle-stop tour - only the Conservatives will take decisive steps to protect and sustain the long-term future of our great national tipple.
Rt Hon. Patrick Dundas MP | Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
Member of Parliament for Moray (2019-Present)
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#30
I can't help but laugh when I hear that Labour doesn't understand Scotland's needs- when it comes from a Tory party that is more than proud of every way they have tried to sell Scotland short. It's been their pushes for austerity that have hurt Scotland most- and they hold it up as a prop when it suits them. Scotland is held up as a joke when it comes to eliminating tuition fees. They're held up as a joke when it means there's a clever line against the Prime Minister. They're held up as a prop when the Tories talk about referendums. And they're used as a prop when they negotiate "deals" that will just cut Scotland out of a market. I've lived in Scotland, and I've seen what this country needs. It doesn't need the Tories who want to see Scotland suffer- it doesn't need the Tories that trot out Scotland as a prop. That's why our budget put a surge of funding for Scottish investment and for the budget in Scotland- to start to undo the disaster that was nine years of Tory rule that just did nothing but leave Scotland behind. Scotland needs far more than a cut in the spirits duty... but good luck getting that out of a Tory Government.
Alexander Milne MP
MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (2019-) | Labour
Chancellor of the Exchequer (2019-)
MP for Stirling (2010-2015)
Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury (2011-2015)
Media Unknown | Constituency Appeal | Campaigning Guru
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