Sacrifices ought to be made equally

Any reduction in unemployment or increase in growth is welcome. I don’t argue that good news on the economy should be seen as benefiting the Conservatives. Their actions are not always the cause of success, after all.

And how the economy is doing depends on where you are in society. A cut in the top rate of tax or hiking the threshold for inheritance tax hardly affects most people.

But other policies affect very many people.

The increase in the national minimum wage sounds good, but is paid for by slashing tax credits for the working poor. The scale of tax credits has rocketed because employers cannot, or will not, pay proper wages.

Tax credits allow low-paid people to keep their heads above water and contribute to growing the economy.

Hundreds of thousands of public-sector jobs have also been lost, and maybe another 100,000 will go by 2020.

Those left in the public sector are on average £2,000 a year worse off than in 2010 because wage increases have been capped at one per cent, and that will continue for the next four years.

People working for private companies are getting much bigger pay rises. We need to close the gap.

I am backing a petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104399

Our new leadership has not had much time to prepare an alternative, but we will fill the policy gap.

We need to live within our means, but sacrifice should be shared more equally.