Read my latest Sunderland Echo column here or read it on the Echo's website.
The past couple of weeks have seen the Tories embattled as they lurch from one crisis to another.
What this has done is distract from the job of government and this week’s Budget was sadly more of the same.
Under the last seven years of Tory rule, we have seen austerity weaken our country’s future potential, and this week’s Budget confirmed what we expected to be the case: productivity, business investment and growth forecasts revised down for the next five years.
Whilst there were welcome announcements in the Budget, including the Government footing the bill to refurbish the Tyne & Wear Metro rolling stock after concerted campaigning by local MPs and Nexus, this does not mean we should celebrate this Budget; far from it.
The wider economic forecasts show an impact on jobs and people’s incomes, yet the Tories are failing to come forward with radical proposals to address these growing issues.
Instead they are providing more of the same with the odd token policy thrown in to gloss over their failures.
More must be done than what is happening at the moment.
Instead of focusing on clinging to power, the Tories must make sure that they deliver for as many people as possible in our country.
Labour has a clear plan which includes real investment in skills and jobs and a large-scale housebuilding programme, plans to help people’s incomes by providing a real living wage and capping energy prices, and ensuring the super-rich don’t get away with more tax breaks and tackle tax avoidance.
People wanted change when they voted in the snap General Election in the summer. Yet, at the first chance this Government had to offer just that, they let down so many people by sticking with the status quo and overseeing a fragile economy that is failing to put the many first.