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Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds accuses Rishi Sunak of dodging 'big decisions' by failing to deliver full Budget

The Shadow Chancellor criticised the decision not to deliver a full Budget

3 min read

Anneliese Dodds has accused the Chancellor of putting off the "big decisions" by failing to present a full Budget.

The Shadow Chancellor said Rishi Sunak had "fallen short" after he chose to announce new economic measures as part of a summer statement rather than a comprehensive fiscal plan.

Speaking to MPs, the Chancellor announced almost £30bn in new measures, including a stamp duty cut and a new job retention scheme, but said he planned to wait until Autumn to deliver a full spending review and Budget.

But the move was criticised by Ms Dodds, who said while she recognised the Government had taken "big decisions", they had failed to deliver a "back to work Budget" to help the UK economy recover from the pandemic.

"Our country has been through a great deal over these past few months. Hundreds of thousands have wrestled with this terrible disease, for many months, people have had to go without being able to embrace their loved ones, even to say goodbye," she said.

"Tens of thousands have died, our NHS social care and other workers have made extraordinary sacrifices we owe them so much.

"The government has had to take big decisions, We acknowledge that.

"But today, Mr Speaker should have been the day when our government chose to build a bridge between what has been done so far and what needs to be done to get our economy moving again."

She added: “Today Britain should have had a back to work budget.

"But instead, we got this summer statement, with many of the big decisions put off until later, as the benches opposite know full well.

"Labour is a constructive opposition during this time of crisis. We won’t criticise for criticism’s sake.

"But when the government falls short, we will speak up, and the blunt truth is we have one of the highest death rates in the world.

"And among the deepest economic damage in the industrialised world, from coronavirus.

"So the very first thing the Chancellor must do is prevent additional economic damage due to the slow public health response of his government.

"As we've seen throughout this crisis the failure to match soaring rhetoric, with meaningful action has consequences for people across our country, despite all its talk."

Ms Dodds also criticised the decision to wind down the furlough scheme entirely from October, saying the "one-size-fits-all" approach would damage those sectors of the economy still shut due to the pandemic.

"No one is saying those schemes should stay as they are indefinitely, we have never said that on this side of the house, but we have said that the money spent on the job retention scheme must not serve merely to postpone unemployment," she said.

"The scheme must live up to its name, supporting employment in industries that are viable in the long-term and we need a strategy for the scheme to become more flexible so it can support those businesses forced to close again because of additional localised lockdowns."

Meanwhile, the SNPs economic spokesperson Alison Thewliss took aim the Chancellor's new "eat out to help out" scheme, saying that some families were "barely eating".

"Now is the time to strengthen measures to reverse rising child poverty, including a £20 per week increase in the child element of Universal Credit and child tax credits," she said.

"This will help families put food on the table and clothes on children's backs at a time when many are struggling.

"These parents are not eating out, some of these parents are barely eating."

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