• Conor McGinn: This Budget does nothing for St Helens and is already unravelling before our eyes.

    The Chancellor’s Budget is falling apart after just a couple of days.

    His £2 billion hike on National Insurance paid by the self-employed is so unpopular that even Tory MPs are lining up to attack Philip Hammond over the broken Tory manifesto pledge.

    In St Helens North, his plan to raise National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for solo workers will hit around 5,500 lower and middle-income earners and take over £170,000 out of the local economy.

    The Prime Minister has already hinted that she is ready to perform a humiliating climbdown over the deeply flawed plan that will hit the workers who are backbone of our economy.

    The Tories promised four times in their 2015 manifesto there would be “no increases in National Insurance contributions” – but Class 4 NICs on self-employed profits are set to rise to 11% in 2019.

    That will cost someone on £27,000 more than £30 a month – so much for the Tory promise to help those people who are just about managing.

    But the National Insurance hike is not the only betrayal of ordinary working people by the Government. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that workers have endured 15 years without a pay rise, thanks to the sluggish economic recovery under this Government.

    It is an equally grim story when it comes to the Government’s assault on public services and the cuts inflicted upon them.

    The £2 billion promised to ease the social care crisis over the next three years is nowhere near enough – especially when set alongside the £4.6 billion of cuts in the last Parliament.

    When it comes to education, a handful of free schools and grammar schools will get £1 billion over the Budget period – but the rest of our schools will receive barely a quarter of that at just £260 million over the same timeframe.

    However, the Government is pressing ahead with its £1 billion cut to inheritance tax and cuts for big business with further reductions in corporation tax, widening the gap between rich and poor.

    In stark contrast, services in places like St Helens North will continue to suffer as the local government budget is cut by more than 20% from £8.2 billion this year to £6.5 billion in 2017/18 and £5.5 billion the year after.

    Despite all the Government’s talk of a creating a Northern Powerhouse, the Chancellor failed to deliver the urgently needed infrastructure investment for the North.

    George Osborne became infamous for his Omnishambles Budget. It looks like Philip Hammond has taken a leaf out of his predecessor’s book with his botched Budget proposals.

    This Budget is already proving a chaotic shambles that holds nothing for my constituents in St Helens – except further cuts to local services and more Tory austerity.

    The Chancellor’s Budget will only further widen the North-South divide and continue to reduce social mobility. It is a Budget for the privileged few that ignores the needs of the many.