Mike Amesbury – 2022 Speech on the Government’s “Plan for Growth”

The speech made by Mike Amesbury, the Labour MP for Weaver Vale, in the House of Commons on 19 October 2022.

This economic crisis has been manufactured in Downing Street and, as we approach Hallowe’en, the little shop of horrors on the Government Benches adds 10.1% inflation. That horrendous inflation figure brings more anxiety to my constituents in Weaver Vale and across Britain, as Members across the Chamber have documented today. This nightmare made in Downing Street is being experienced every day by ordinary people who are just trying to make ends meet during this economic crisis.

Mortgages are up, energy bills are up, the weekly shop bill is up and rents are up, while wages, benefits and pensions are down. My God—the Bank of England had to intervene with £65 billion to save our pension funds. People on the Government Benches should be ashamed of themselves for supporting this, voting for it and inflicting on us the horror show that we saw in the summer. This has all been driven by Captain Chaos herself, the Prime Minister unchained as a free marketeer ultra.

Who knew that unsuccessful trickle-down economics, unfunded tax cuts for the wealthiest and borrowing on the never, never would fail? The shadow Chancellor knew, the Bank of England knew, the Institute for Fiscal Studies knew, the Office for Budget Responsibility knew, the Financial Times knew and the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr Wragg) knew, as he has eloquently set out in the Chamber today. In fact, a huge coalition of the economically sensible forewarned that the free marketeer ultras would ultimately fail and crash the economy off a cliff.

The lady who is for U-turning by the hour is now trying to deflect the blame for the chaos to the former 38-day Chancellor, while appointing the former architect—let us not forget this—of NHS austerity mark one. She is a Tory Prime Minister in name only, chained to the passenger seat while Chancellor Hunt tries to swerve away from another cliff of chaos, but the damage is done. Who knows how much longer this Prime Minister in title only will have to attempt to deal with this utter mess of her own making? Almost certainly not as long as our constituents, who will be paying for years to come for this economic chaos. We will ensure that that is not forgotten.

Some 4,800 households in Halton and 13,900 in Cheshire West and Chester will now be paying higher mortgage rates, thanks to the experimental mini-Budget that the Prime Minister and former Chancellor now admit caused interest rates to increase—a Budget that the Cabinet signed up to, although they are now in denial about that. That extra £500 a month on average will inevitably mean that homes are repossessed. The situation will be turbocharged by the new Chancellor of doom who has just decided to gift households with energy bills of up to £5,000 next April—complete and utter madness—while the oil and gas companies rake in £170 billion of excess profits. The answer is staring people in the face. It is those companies we need to tackle, and in fact the likes of Shell are expecting it and have built it into their business plans. It is crazy.

On the long road to recovery that we face, a Conservative Government cannot remain in the driving seat, even if the Prime Minister is not at the wheel. We now have the fourth Chancellor in four months, and that is not going to provide confidence and stability. In fact, we have had 12 years of this Government and 12 years of austerity. The new Chancellor of doom has no strategy for growth, and he is set to outline austerity mark two in the Hallowe’en Budget. It is time to wake up from this nightmare. Step aside, and let us have a Labour Government.