Last week, with Brexit dominating the headlines and the parliamentary business, the Chancellor snuck out a lazy Spring Statement that offered nothing to schools – some of whom now can’t afford to stay open all week – nothing to social care, and nothing for the people struggling on the benefits squeeze. I did a series of TV and radio interviews highlighting this extraordinary display of callous complacency over austerity and the grotesque incompetence of this Government’s handling of Brexit. Austerity isn’t over, and the Government’s failure to negotiate a good deal is damaging our economy. Growth has now been significantly revised down from 1.6% to a predicted 1.2%; productivity has been downgraded from 0.8% to 0.5%, and business investment now forecast to be negative. With a strong economy so key to weathering Brexit, this is not good enough.

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