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Next week’s Budget will see the Government set out its spending plans. After a year mired in Tory chaos, many households and businesses are worried about what this will mean for their living standards over the coming period.

After 13 years of Conservative government, Britain is in a cycle of managed decline, with our public services at breaking point, and taxes at their highest level for 70 years. The UK economy is far less resilient than our competitors, with only us and Russia not back at pre-pandemic levels.

But this is more than just lines on a graph, the everyday reality is that disposable incomes have fallen, regional inequality has risen, high streets have been hollowed-out, and higher numbers of children are growing up in poverty.

With Conservative mismanagement of the economy leading to forecasts of the worst growth in the G7 this year, businesses and households need to see certainty and support from this Budget. Current energy bill support is set to be withdrawn, which is likely to result in bill increases of around or even over 20%. This will leave household budgets stretched even further and push many deeper into poverty. Less money to spend will also have a knock-on impact on our local economy, particularly affecting small and local businesses.

I know from speaking to businesses in Luton that many of them are worried about energy cost uncertainty. From corner shops to large energy intensive industries, businesses of all sizes in our town need to see government support for this year and beyond.

Labour knows that economic growth doesn’t just come from a few people at the top, but from harnessing the strengths of people and businesses across the country. That’s why we’d work in partnership with businesses and trade unions to deliver sustained growth for the UK. We’d provide certainty and stability to households and build a resilient trading economy that businesses can rely on. Under a Labour Government, Britain would seize new opportunities and hone the talents and skills of our workforce. Foremost, we’d ensure regional inequality isn’t widened by giving more autonomy to local authorities who know what’s best for their areas.

Communities need to see real change from next week’s Budget, with stability and support at the forefront of the Prime Minister’s agenda. Luton is an ambitious town but it needs a Government that’ll nurture that aspiration and only Labour will deliver that.

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