Happy PMQs (Austerity is over)…only it isn’t really
Rejoice! Walk out into the streets and hug your fellow humans. Austerity is over, the PM literally said: “Better times are coming.”
This was just the news we need on World Mental Health Day. But it took that party pooper Corbyn to spoil all the fun.
At today’s PMQs the Labour leader asked the PM why there are 5,000 fewer mental health workers.
His point seemed to be irrelevant to May as she said her party is really behind mental health issues. You may not have a health worker to assist you in your darkest hour, but it must be comforting to know that central government is thinking about you, between arguing over Brexit and stabbing their fellow colleagues in the back.
May told Corbyn that her government has ensured parity between physical and mental health needs. Corbyn said that this parity acknowledgment was actually a Labour amendment that her party had opposed.
Mr Corbyn then proceeded to pick apart each sector one by one. 21,000 police officers have been cut and violent crime is on the rise, is austerity over for them, he asked?
If so, why is the Police Federation taking the Government to court over a pay dispute.
He wondered if austerity was over for teachers, who have not all received the 3.5% pay rise. When in reality many are getting a pay cut.
Corbyn also mentioned the Tory Leader of Northamptonshire Council who said “they couldn’t cope with level of cuts.” Or Tory Somerset Council where they “ feel abandoned there are no solutions.” Is austerity over for them?
Worryingly a lot of the Government’s cuts have still not actually kicked into budgets yet.
May even acknowledge that things were not great and told the house “better times are coming,” then said it wasn’t the end of fiscal restraint, which sounds a lot like austerity to me.
Without tax rises, how is she going to raise any money? Tax and spend isn’t going to win her many friends in the Tory heartlands.
Now she has promised a bright future surely every department will be will be banging on the door of number 10 looking for some financial help.
Any increase in spending will not make up for 8 years of cuts. It feels like the person on the fruit machine who pumps £30 in and tells you about the £4 they just won back.
Just saying better times are coming really isn’t enough.
Sycophantic question of the day
Pauline Latham, Con, kicked off PMQs asking a nice question about performing arts sector (she is performing arts ambassador) before May put on her show.