Monday 24 February 2020 / 10:30 PM Economy / John McDonnell

Three tests for the Budget

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, will tomorrow set out a trio of tests to judge the Budget against, in a Commons debate on the Government’s failures on tax avoidance and evasion:


“With a Budget in just over a fortnight, over the coming days we will be setting out an agenda of issues that the Government needs to address to tackle the social and climate emergencies our communities now face.



“At present we have a government that has proved to be incapable of caring for our people, housing our people, feeding them or providing the work that will lift them and their families out of poverty.


“These will be the key tests of the forthcoming Budget:


“Will it really end and reverse the decade of austerity cuts imposed upon our communities by the Tories?


“Will it ensure that our people are properly cared for, housed, fed and have secure employment that will help lift them out of poverty?


“And yes, of course alongside all this, in a week where we have again seen the Prime Minister’s failure to respond to flooding that has damaged so many of our people’s lives, the overriding test is: will it tackle the existential threat of climate change?



“The forthcoming Budget will be a test of whether the Tory party has turned a page.


“From the evidence so far it is looking like more Johnsonian bluster.


“Nothing on the scale needed to even address in any serious way the damage Conservative governments over the last decade have inflicted on our communities.


“And certainly nothing on the scale needed to tackle the climate crisis.


“We await to see whether in this Budget the Government will at long last confront effectively the scandal of tax avoidance and evasion.


“I am not holding my breath.”