Corbyn points out millions are struggling just to get by
Tories boast that they have “never had it so good” while millions are struggling to make ends meet as their pay continues to fall, Jeremy Corbyn said in the Commons yesterday.
Slamming alleged comments that Chancellor Philip Hammond made during a Conservatives 1922 Committee meeting of bankbench MPs, the Labour leader said that Mr Hammond “told Conservative MPs: ‘Look at us — no mortgage, everybody with a pension, never had more money in the current account’.
“A Conservative prime minister once told Britain: ‘You’ve never had it so good’.
Now Tory MPs tell each other: ‘We’ve never had it so good’. “Can the Prime Minister tell us what’s happened in the last seven years to the average person’s bank account?”
Mr Hammond’s comments came ahead of the release of new figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) yesterday showing that wages have fallen for the sixth consecutive month.
Inflation jumped to 2.9 per cent in August, while real-terms pay has fallen by 0.4 per cent over the last year.
In an attempt to defend the Tories’ devastating austerity policies, Ms May retorted that the latest ONS statistics also showed record levels of employment.
But despite unemployment falling to its lowest level since 1975, more working families are living in poverty, shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said.
“We are deeply concerned that millions are still unable to make ends meet as the cost of basic essentials spirals while real pay falls,” she said.
“Too many still find it more difficult to get a job because of their age, ethnicity, disability or where they live and are bearing the brunt of this government’s failed austerity plans.
“A Labour government will implement a real living wage of £10 per hour, and put an end to Tory austerity.”
A shocking report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation last December showed that seven million people in Britain are living in poverty despite being part of a working family.
Back in the Commons, Mr Corbyn pointed out that pay rises announced this week for police and prison officers — 2 and 1.7 per cent respectively — are below the 2.9 per cent rate of inflation.
Mr Corbyn raised concerns that the Tories would fund such pay “rises” through further cuts to services.
When asked whether this would be the case, Ms May refused to say that no more police and prison officers would lose their jobs.