'Nothing for NHS or social care, nothing for Luton aviation': Luton MPs blast Chancellor's budget

Luton's two MPs have blasted the Chancellor's 2021 Budget today (Wednesday) - arguing it does nothing for the NHS, social care and Luton's aviation industry.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 7:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 7:57 pm
Luton North MP Sarah owen (left) and Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins (right)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the UK Government’s spending plan in the 2021 Budget today (see full story here).

The government has continued the furlough scheme until September, while a fifth grant has been announced this summer for the self-employment income support scheme.

Elsewhere, a £5bn restart package has been promised for non-essential businesses and a £400,000 grant for arts venues.

But Luton North MP Sarah Owen and Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins criticised the budget for failing to outline a recovery plan for NHS and social care services, lack of an investment plan in green industries and "no effective strategy to tackle unemployment" - which is expected to peak at 6.5 per cent next year.

Luton North MP Sarah Owen said: “We’ve seen over the last year how it is the key workers who keep our country going - the doctors and nurses, the teachers, the scientists, the shop staff, the delivery drivers and all the rest who’ve got us through this crisis.

"That’s why I’m disappointed that the Chancellor missed his opportunity today to start building back better, stronger and fairer.

“Nothing for our brilliant NHS and social care staff, nothing to save aviation jobs in Luton, and a hike in income tax which will hit low and middle earners hardest.”

Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins complained there was no support in the budget for businesses in debt or any plan to fix the "broken housing system", as well as no increases in sick pay, legacy benefits and Universal Credit.

Ms Hopkins said: "After a decade of economic mismanagement and the current health crisis, Luton and the UK needed a budget that protected our economy and outlined a recovery plan.

"We deserve investment in our public services and a plan to create economic growth, and jobs fit for the 21st century."