Wednesday 28 August 2019 / 10:30 PM Economy / John McDonnell

Fear spending review will be a “bouncing cheque” – John McDonnell

In his pre Spending Review speech on Thursday at Church House, Westminster, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, will say:

“Nobody is fooled that this is a normal and proper Spending Review that any normal, strong and stable incoming government would undertake.

“It’s a one off, pre-election, panic driven, stunt budget.

“And it’s now emerged that – despite the Prime Minister’s bluster about optimism and promises of new spending – Philip Hammond’s austerity rules will be kept in place meaning another year of austerity.

“In a panic measure, No 10 ordered Sajid Javid to cancel yesterday’s major set piece speech on the economy and instead bring forward his spending round, obviously to set up a potential general election announcement.

“As someone who has been called the Peoples’ Chancellor, I can tell you that these stunt measures not only fail to address the peoples’ priorities, they demonstrate that the Tories have no appreciation of the peoples’ pain imposed on them by year after year of Tory austerity and cuts.

“People see though this as crude electioneering. Ruthless opinion poll politics.

“But each spending announcement is soon exposed as significantly less real new money than the headline proclaims.

“Whole areas of social need like child poverty, social care and local council services that do not often figure high in the opinion polls are ignored.

“This spending round also lasts for only one year and is a one off.

“Already our front line public service professionals are making it clear that they need a level of long term, stable funding that meets the needs of our community, not election gimmicks.

“Nobody is asking for a blank cheque but what they fear that this is a bouncing cheque, where the one year pre-election spending promised funding lasts as long as the election campaign, especially as the impact of a No Deal Brexit hits.

“At a time when the economy needs certainty and long term planning, all the evidence points not to a serious Spending Round but to an election stunt, inadequate, and insecure, lasting as long as an election campaign.”