Lisa Nandy MP: We need a change of Government

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Since I last wrote my column two weeks ago, Liz Truss has resigned following the fallout of her disastrous mini budget, becoming the shortest serving Prime Minister in history after just 44 shambolic days in power.

Sadly, the chaos caused by her brief time in office will be felt by people in Wigan for a much longer time than that to come.

By announcing £43 billion of unfunded tax cuts, targeted mostly at the rich, the Government sent the financial markets into freefall and pushed up the cost of borrowing, which hit mortgage payers hard.

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Families in Wigan and across the North West who are renegotiating a fixed-term mortgage have seen their monthly payments rise by a devastating £370 on average.

Wigan MP Lisa NandyWigan MP Lisa Nandy
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy

Although the then-Prime Minister eventually backtracked on some of the measures – cancelling plans to slash corporation tax, paid by big companies on their profits, and abandoning a £2 billion measure to cut VAT on shopping for tourists – the damage had already been done.

The Government had created a black hole in the country’s finances, estimated as up to £40 billion, and the latest Chancellor announced there would have to be “eye-watering” cuts to public services, pensions and benefits.

The full extent of what happens next is not clear, because the new choice for Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, didn’t utter a word about his plans during the latest Tory leadership contest.

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However what he does next will have major implications for people in our area stuck on NHS waiting lists, worried about their pensions and dealing with soaring energy and food bills.

It is absurd that Sunak was brought into power as our Prime Minister by fewer than 200 people – all of them Tory MPs. Putting that in context, a council candidate in Wigan normally must win over at least 1,000 people to get elected.

What we do know is that during the summer he was caught on camera bragging about his decision to move funding from deprived areas of the country to more affluent places.

As Chancellor, he was fined for breaking Covid rules, and fought for months to protect the profits of the big energy producers instead of helping families with soaring energy bills through a windfall tax.

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On his watch, Britain became the only major economy to put up taxes on working people in an inflation crisis.

People are paying more in taxes now as part of their income than at any time in the last 70 years.

It is no wonder that my inbox is full of emails from constituents demanding to have their say on who is running the country.

There is an alternative to this Tory chaos.

The next Labour Government will make fairer choices – asking those with the broadest shoulders to bear the greatest burden.

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By asking non-doms, online companies and big energy producers to pay a fairer share of tax, we would help families, small businesses and the NHS survive this coming winter, and get Britain working again.

That is why we don’t just need a new Tory leader; we need a change of Government.