Cutting too far and too fast hurts everyone. Not just the young people who would have benefited from Labour’s now scrapped Future Jobs Fund. Not just the elderly and vulnerable people who have had their support services rendered unaffordable, or non-existent. But normal, hard-working individuals and families who can’t afford their weekly shop; parents whose relied-upon children’s services – twelve will close in Bromley – have vanished.
With unemployment at its highest level in 17 years and economic growth almost stagnant, Labour has this week set out its plan to get the country back on track.
For a start, a £2bn tax on bank bonuses would fund 60,000 jobs for young people and 5000 new homes in London. VAT would be temporarily reduced, representing around £450 for a London family. And to help home-owners, VAT on home improvements would be cut to 5% for a year.
Long-term investment projects – like transport, and the 163 new school builds cancelled in London alone by Michael Gove – would be brought forward, creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Small businesses that take on extra workers would benefit from a year-long national insurance tax break.
The Tory-led government is leading London and Britain to the brink. We know that the choice between David Cameron and Boris Johnson on the one hand and Ed Miliband and Ken Livingstone on the other is a no-brainer; we now need to convince other people, too.