The Chancellor has announced a huge swathe of public spending commitments as he looks to fund the Government’s levelling up agenda. In the Budget he pledged an extra £150billion in Government departmental spending.
His mega spending commitments included an extra £55billion in health care over the course of the parliament, £1.7billion in new infrastructure projects, and a 6.6 percent increase in the National Living Wage.
The spending commitments come despite Government debt hitting the highest level since the 1960s.
Record borrowing has taken place since Mr Sunak entered No11 Downing Street as he sought to keep the economy afloat during the Covid crisis.
Tory MPs were left looking glum and frustrated on the green benches of the Commons as the announcements were made.
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It was not until 44 minutes into his speech that Mr Sunak received his first big cheer from his own MPs.
Conservatives from the so-called Red Wall of former Labour heartlands fear the “reckless” announcements from the Treasury risk voters turning their backs on the party at the next election.
“I’m just frustrated”, one told Express.co.uk.
“When did we become a socialist Government?
“I can’t read the electorate at the moment but I really fear what could happen at the next election.”
They said Mr Sunak’s “Labour-lite” policies meant there was very little difference between the two parties.
They warned the Tories’ lack of distinct identity would mean those who had voted for the party for the first time in 2019 could once again abandon them.
“Boris said at the last election that these voters had ‘leant us their votes’ and we should forget that, they could vote for Labour next time round,” they added.
“I fear we’re approaching that ‘oh shit’ moment where it’s too late to turn back and the damage with the electorate is already done.”
Another said: “I do worry about my seat.
“Last time round they rejected Corbynism.
“I’m not sure copying Labour policies is what these voters want.”
Mr Sunak promised his Budget was not full of unfunded spending commitments and that the Conservatives remained the party who could be trusted with the economy.
He told MPs: “Employment is up. Investment is growing. Public services are improving. The public finances are stabilising. And wages are rising.
“Today’s Budget delivers a stronger economy for the British people: stronger growth, with the UK recovering faster than our major competitors.
“Stronger public finances, with our debt under control. Stronger employment, with fewer people out of work and more people in work. Growth up, jobs up, and debt down: Let there be no doubt – our plan is working.”