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Portsmouth MP says Chancellor has ‘lost control’ as South East earners face £1,460 squeeze on their wages in 2023

Stephen Morgan MP has claimed the Chancellor has lost control as new figures show the average earner in the South East will see their earnings fall by £1,460 in the next year alone, relative to inflation, under the new plans announced by the Chancellor in his Spring Statement this week.

The party heavily criticised the Chancellor after it emerged that not only would working people still be hit with the biggest tax burden since the 1940s – but that living standards look to plummet at the fastest rate seen since records began.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor called on the government to scrap the damaging, unfair National Insurance rise, and to choose a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits instead – to take up to £600 off the energy bills of households struggling with the rising cost of living crisis.

And she also slammed the Chancellor for his lack of a long-term plan for growing the economy or wages – saying that his current plans set out no plan for tackling waste or fraud that has run riot under his watch, nor any vision for creating prosperity and security across the UK.

Labour’s figures also show that:

  • Workers in the North East will see their real earnings fall by £1,107 a year by 2023 under the Chancellor’s plans
  • Workers in the North West will see their real earnings fall by £1,194 a year by 2023 under the Chancellor’s plans
  • Workers in the West Midlands will see their real earnings fall by £1,234 a year by 2023 under the Chancellor’s plans

 The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“All we got from the Chancellor in his Spring Statement last week was a promise of jam tomorrow rather than the support that is needed now – and now we learn that workers in the South East are facing a sharp squeeze on their wages, losing £1,460 from their pay packet in the next year alone.

“It also totally lacked a long-term plan for productivity, skills and growth, which business across Portsmouth play a vital role in. He’s simply lost control.

“It was the day for him to bring in a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producers, to take up to £600 off people’s energy bills.

“It was the day to set out a plan for British businesses.

“In failing to do any of these, the Chancellor made the wrong choices for Portsmouth and our country.”

 

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Spring Statement: Chancellor fails to address cost-of-living crisis, says Portsmouth MP

Stephen Morgan MP attacked the Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP today for failing to address in his Spring Statement the cost-of-living crisis working families and businesses in Portsmouth are facing.

The Chancellor has imposed the biggest tax burden in 70 years and is on course to be one of the biggest tax-raising chancellors in post-war UK history, with the burden of taxation predicted to rise to 36.2 per cent of GDP by 2026-27.

The UK is the only country in the G7 raising taxes on working people in the midst of spiralling inflation, with the latest figures showing it at 6.2%, up from 5.5%.

Meanwhile, France, Germany and Italy are cutting taxes and social contributions on income, with other G7 countries including Canada, Japan and the USA also not raising taxes on working people.

The UK is expected to experience biggest growth downgrade of any G7 economy, with Bank of England forecasts showing growth of just 1.25% in 2023.

Responding to changes announced in the Mr Sunak’s statement, the CEO of the Resolution Foundation, Torsten Bell, underlined it was not focused on ‘prioritising help for low and middle income households.’

Labour’s plan to reduce energy bills would raise money to keep bills low through a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas profits to support all households, with households typically getting £200 off their bills. Labour has said its plan will get £600 to the lowest income households.

On the cost-of-living crisis, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“The Chancellor had the perfect opportunity today to protect working families and businesses in Portsmouth facing the cost-of-living crisis. Instead, he blew it.

“The Tories continue to push ahead with imposing one of the biggest tax burdens in post-war history, offering next to nothing for those struggling to make ends meet, week after week, month after month.

“Labour said his national insurance hike was the wrong tax. Wrong time. Wrong choice. Today, the Chancellor all but admitted he got that one wrong. He simply doesn’t understand the scale of the challenges families and communities are facing.

“Labour has a plan on the table ready to go to support working people now, but the Conservatives have consistently failed to back it.

“I will continue to lobby government and do all I can to secure the support families and businesses in Portsmouth need and deserve.”

On defence and public services, he said:

Long before the Ukraine crisis, Labour warned of a decade of decline for defence. But despite Russian threats, the Chancellor has once again failed to commit to proper investment in our national security, as well as nothing on schools, support to alleviate pressures on councils, or for our neglected police services.”

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Cost of living crisis: Over 1.5 million South East working pensioners at risk of being £1,400 worse off

Stephen Morgan MP has warned a ‘Tory triple whammy’ of soaring prices, a tax hike and a lower State Pension could see 1,685,151 working pensioners in the South East £1,400 worse off over the next two years, according to new analysis published today.

New analysis from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by Labour, shows that working pensioners could be an average of £1,400 worse off over the next two years.

A working pensioner earning the average salary, who is in receipt of the State Pension and liable to pay the Health and Social Care Levy, faces a real-terms reduction in their income of £770 in 2022/23 and £622 in 2023/24, an almost £1,400 loss.

The analysis also shows the value of the State Pension is eroded in real-terms by nearly £300 next year and will still be lower in real-terms in 2023/24 even if it is uprated by 5.9%, the rate of inflation that is forecast for September 2022.

Commenting on the figures, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Many retired people in Portsmouth work to contribute to our communities or to supplement their state pension, which is facing a real terms cut this April.

“It’s disgraceful that working pensioners are facing a triple whammy of soaring prices, tax rises and a real terms cut to their state pension. Under the Tories, pensioners are worse off.

“That’s why I will be voting in Parliament tonight to cut home energy bills and halt next month’s planned tax rise, to protect local pensioners. I call on local Tory MPs to do the same.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth, added:

“Instead of protecting pensioner incomes as Boris Johnson promised, the Tories are cutting the state pension and clobbering pensioners in work with a tax rise; leaving them worse off by an eye-watering £1400.

“It’s daylight robbery and Boris Johnson has betrayed retired people.

“Pensioner poverty is increasing with older people facing impossible choices between eating and heating. The upcoming NICs rise should be halted this week and action should be taken to reduce energy bills by hundreds of pounds for those who need help as Labour has proposed.”

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Cost of living crisis: Portsmouth MP calls for government to halt National Insurance rise and protect local families

Stephen Morgan MP has called on the government to halt the National Insurance rise set to hit families this April and implement a one-off windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas to stop energy bills rising over the next year.

The Portsmouth MP wrote to the Chancellor on Thursday, urging him to cancel the rise in National Insurance contributions by 1.25 per cent from next month, which will cost families in Portsmouth and across the UK an average of £500 per year. The city MP also called for Rishi Sunak to implement Labour’s plan, which would save 18,539 homes in Portsmouth South alone up to £600 off bills in total.

It comes as inflation spirals, the cost-of-living crisis grows and government refused to cancel the National Insurance rise on Tuesday, as Labour used its Opposition Day Debate to urge the government to halt its planned increase this April.

Labour’s plan to cut the cost of energy bills, funded by a one-off windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas, would also increase and expand the Warm Home’s Discount, targeting extra support to the squeezed middle, pensioners and the lowest earners.

Labour analysis has found that the £444 increase in energy bills expected in the next financial year for a household that receives the government’s loan and council tax scheme would still be more than £1,000 worse off in 2022/23.

In addition, the Resolution Foundation has also said that the average combined impact of the freeze to income tax thresholds and the 1.25 per cent increase in personal National Insurance contributions is £600 per household.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Families and businesses in Portsmouth are facing an energy price crisis because a decade of failed Conservative energy policy has left us deeply vulnerable as a country.

“Labour wants to help ease the cost-of-living crisis. That’s why we’re calling on the government to halt the national insurance rise before it’s too late.

“This perfect storm created by Ministers could be weathered if the Chancellor had the courage to do the right thing, cancel the national insurance hike and back working people by implementing Labour’s plan.”

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Ukraine: Statement from Stephen Morgan MP on the Economic Crime Bill

I have welcomed the Government’s decision to bring forward legislation to set up a register of overseas entities holding UK property and land and their beneficial owners. Labour has been calling for these measures for years and have consistently raised the alarm about the role of Kremlin backed capital in the UK and the lack of action from the Conservative government. That alarm has reached fever pitch as the unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian invasion of Ukraine continues at horrific human cost.

The Conservatives first promised a register of overseas ownership in 2016 and draft legislation has been in the public domain for this since 2018. It is deeply frustrating that the Government has dragged its feet on stopping dirty money flowing through our economy and that it took the invasion of one of our allies before they finally acted.

Our country is respected across the world as a prime financial destination, but sadly it has also become the destination of choice for Russia’s kleptocrats under this Government. Britain has a completely deficient system of corporate registration that permits layers of secrecy in which those who prop up Putin and the Russian state are hiding. Transparency International research has shown that UK property worth £1.5 billion has been bought since 2016 by Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin.

This is not simply a matter of targeting individuals or entities through sanctions but about fixing a broken system that helps to sustain Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Britain’s openness to fraud and money laundering, inadequate regulation of political donations, lax mechanisms of corporate governance, and weakness to foreign interference threatens our national security.

In addition, whilst I welcome the government’s concession to reduce the originally drafted 18-month transitional period before which any foreign entity needs to apply to join the register to six months, Ministers should go further. By including a transition period this legislation offers no deterrent now and gives oligarchs a window to escape sanctions. Labour wants the obligation to register to come into effect within weeks, not years and that is why we have tabled an amendment to tighten the net on Putin’s cronies now by shortening the grace period to 28 days.

We cannot give oligarchs a head start – dirty Russian money must be taken out of the UK in days, not months. The Government must side with Labour to protect our security and show solidarity with the people of Ukraine by taking the action needed to send a clear, united message – Putin backed oligarchs are not welcome in our economy.

Stephen Morgan MP

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Revealed: 28,000 pensioners in Portsmouth who could see energy bill savings wiped out a ‘disgrace’ says City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has labelled new revelations that 28,650 Portsmouth pensioners’ state pensions could be worth hundreds of pounds less in real terms over the next year ‘a disgrace’, as the government continues to struggle to get to grips with the cost-of-living crisis.

New Labour analysis has shown that, as a result of rising inflation and the Conservatives’ decision to only increase the state pension by 3.1 per cent, a basic state pension for an individual will be worth around £222 less in real terms over a year than in 2021/22.

For a couple it will be worth around £355 less. This is a real-terms cut to the state pension that is more than the amount Ministers are providing households to reduce their energy bills over the next year.

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, the Government’s decision to break the triple lock and give pensioners a real-terms cut to their pensions will leave older people in Britain paying hundreds of pounds more as a result of the rise in energy prices.

Labour’s plan to reduce energy bills would raise money to keep bills low through a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas profits to support all households, with households typically getting £200 off their bills. Labour’s plan will get £600 to the lowest income households while the Conservatives will only give them £350.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“At a time of rising energy bills and prices going up in the shops, Tory MPs are pushing through a real-terms cut to pensions and the support families rely on.

“With working people, families and pensioners in Portsmouth struggling to make ends meet, along with rising child and pensioner poverty, it is clear proof that the Conservatives are simply not on the side of working people or pensioners.

“The fact that over 28,000 Portsmouth pensioners’ state pensions could face a significant hit this year is a disgrace and yet another example of Tory Ministers’ incompetence.

“I will always stand up for Portsmouth pensioners guaranteeing older people in our city the respect, security and prosperity they deserve.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, also said:

“The Tory cost of living crisis is set to hammer pensioners hard.

“Not only have Tory MPs broken their manifesto commitment to the pension triple lock, Tory MPs have endorsed Boris Johnson’s plan to cut the value of the basic state pension by hundreds of pounds, wiping out any gain from the energy loan scheme.

“This real terms cut on top of rocketing heating bills, price rises and cuts to other support such as the free TV licence means thousands of pensioners face a tough, bleak year faced with impossible choices between heating or eating.

“With pensioner poverty on the increase this is a shameful way to treat those who have contributed so much to our country. Labour will always stand up for pensioners guaranteeing older people the security, prosperity and respect they deserve.”

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City MP votes for Labour package to tackle rising energy bills with windfall tax on oil and gas producers

Stephen Morgan MP has voted for a fully-funded package to help families with rising bills in the House of Commons today, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip the country.

Energy bills are expected to significantly rise in April, on top of the planned £12bn tax hike for National Insurance payers.

Conservative MPs have already voted against Labour’s motion to cut VAT on fuel bills, despite promises made by many MPs- including the Prime Minister, during the Brexit campaign that they would support such a measure. 

This motion, put forward by Labour in its opposition day debate, gave Conservative MPs an opportunity to vote for a windfall tax to help fund a national package of support for households. 

Oil and gas producing producers are expected to report “near record” income in 2021/22.

Labour is proposing that a windfall tax on these producers could help fund relief measures for families.

Labour’s fully-costed package to keep energy bills low would be achieved through scrapping VAT off home energy bills for a whole year – alongside focused and targeted support through increasing and expanding the Warm Homes Discount to 9.3 million people. 

This would help the average household with around £200 off bills, whilst also delivering targeted and focused support for those who need it most – including low earners, pensioners and the squeezed middle – with up to £600 in total off their bills.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“Energy bills are expected to rise significantly in April, and whilst Labour has proposed a fully costed package to help Portsmouth families with rising bills, the Government has failed to deliver any practical steps to alleviate the crisis.

“That’s why we would give families security by taking fully funded measures to save most households around £200 or more.

“We’d also target extra support on top of that for the squeezed middle, pensioners and lowest earners – saving over 30,000 households in Portsmouth up to £600 off their bills in total.

“Portsmouth families deserve far better, not more dither and delay from this Tory government. Local Conservative MPs surely cannot justify voting against these proposals.”

The Portsmouth MP recently launched his campaign calling for VAT on energy bills to be scrapped. To sign up, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/

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Labour’s plan to keep energy bills low will save 30,000 Portsmouth households up to £600 – City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has said Labour’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis could save over 30,000 Portsmouth households up to £600 a year.

To address the immediate crisis, the Official Opposition has said it would bring in fully funded measures now to reduce the expected price rise in April.

Labour said it would also increase and expand the Warm Home’s Discount, targeting extra support to the squeezed middle, pensioners and the lowest earners, and preventing all of the increase in energy bills currently expected.

Labour would pay for this plan with a one-off windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas producers who have profited from price rises.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Families and businesses in our city are facing an energy price crisis because a decade of failed Conservative energy policy has left us deeply vulnerable as a country. Labour wants to stop bills going up.

“That’s why we would give families security by taking fully-funded measures to save most households around £200 or more.

“We’d also target extra support on top of that for the squeezed middle, pensioners and lowest earners – saving over 30,000 households in Portsmouth up to £600 off their bills in total.

“Portsmouth families deserve far better, not more dither and delay from this Tory government.”

The Portsmouth MP recently launched his campaign calling for VAT on energy bills to be scrapped. To sign up, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/

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Cost of living crisis: City MP votes to save Portsmouth families £200 on their energy bills

Stephen Morgan MP voted for Labour’s plan in the House of Commons today that would save families in Portsmouth at least £200 on their energy bills.

Funded by a one-off windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas and higher than expected tax receipts, Labour would bring in fully costed plans now to reduce the expected price rise in April – saving most households around £200 or more, but targeted extra support to squeezed middle, pensioners and the lowest earners, receiving up to £600 off bills and preventing the increase in energy bills currently expected.

It comes following the Portsmouth MP’s campaign launch last week, calling on the government to immediately remove VAT from domestic energy bills to help protect working people, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens across Portsmouth and the country.

Labour say a VAT cut on domestic energy bills – which would change the charge from 5% to zero – could have come into place as early 1st November. The tax break would be designed to support struggling families through the winter months and would be automatically deducted from their bills.

The Official Opposition also proposed in its plan that was presented to Parliament today to increase the Warm Homes Discount budget to £4bn, an additional £3.5bn, sufficient to provide a £400 Warm Home Discount to the 9.3m households who would be eligible to receive it (around a third of all households in Great Britain), as well as covering the extra administration costs (estimated at £19 per household).

The Portsmouth MP has underlined that over 10,000 working age families in his constituency of Portsmouth South – nearly half of which with children – will be affected by the government’s cut to Universal Credit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

According to analysis from Citizens Advice, 10 per cent of families in the UK – equivalent to 3.2 million households – could be facing a financial crisis this winter.

National polling by the charity has also shown that one in five people have already cut back on their food shop (19%), or used less heating (20%) to save money, demonstrating how recent changes have left many households in a vulnerable position.

Labour has said the VAT cut would offer a helping hand when people need it most, and alongside not cancelling the Universal Credit uplift, and not hitting working people and businesses with a new jobs tax, this VAT reduction is part of the party’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“Energy bills, the weekly shop and taxes on the lowest earners are all up, but government is failing to support for Portsmouth families and keep them secure this winter.

“That’s why Labour would give families in Portsmouth security by taking fully funded measures to save most households around £200 or more, targeting extra support on top of that for the squeezed middle, pensioners and lowest earners.

“I will continue to take action in Parliament and hold Ministers to account to provide those most at risk this winter with the help they need.”

Anyone can sign up to support Stephen’s campaign and his call on Government to scrap VAT on energy bills. To do so, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/

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Cost of living crisis: Portsmouth MP launches local campaign for urgent VAT cut on energy bills to protect working families  

Stephen Morgan MP has launched a campaign today calling on the government to immediately remove VAT from domestic energy bills to help protect working people, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens across Portsmouth and the country.

Labour say a VAT cut on domestic energy bills – which would change the charge from 5% to zero – could have come into place as early 1st November. The tax break would be designed to support struggling families through the winter months and would be automatically deducted from their bills.

The cut would be funded for by the higher-than-expected VAT receipts accrued since the start of the financial year.

It comes as energy bills continue to soar, prices for everyday items are still rising steeply and national insurance and council tax hikes are set to impact working people in the months ahead.

The Portsmouth MP has underlined that over 10,000 working age families in his constituency of Portsmouth South – nearly half of which with children – will be affected by the government’s cut to Universal Credit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

According to analysis from Citizens Advice, 10 per cent of families in the UK – equivalent to 3.2 million households – could be facing a financial crisis this winter.

National polling by the charity has also shown that one in five people have already cut back on their food shop (19%), or used less heating (20%) to save money, demonstrating how recent changes have left many households in a vulnerable position.

Labour has said the VAT cut would offer a helping hand when people need it most, and alongside not cancelling the Universal Credit uplift, and not hitting working people and businesses with a new jobs tax, this VAT reduction is part of the party’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“This government is lurching from one crisis to the next, leaving Portsmouth families by the wayside and offering little support to help them get through this winter as everyone feels the pinch.

“Energy bills, inflation and taxes on the lowest earners are all up, but support for working families is far below what is required to keep them secure this winter.

“That’s why I’m launching this local campaign, calling on the government to urgently cut VAT on energy bills to protect working families in Portsmouth, which Labour has been calling for some time now.

“I will continue to hold Ministers to account to provide those most at risk this winter with the help they need, as Ministers continue to struggle with getting to grips with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Anyone can sign up to support this campaign and Stephen’s call on Government to scrap VAT on energy bills. To do so, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/