It’s been dubbed a Labour Budget – but what would Rachel Reeves really have done differently?

Rishi Sunak is pursuing New Labour policies the shadow chancellor agrees with, writes John Rentoul

Thursday 28 October 2021 15:50
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<p>The shadow chancellor has been reluctant to make any spending pledges</p>

The shadow chancellor has been reluctant to make any spending pledges

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, is fighting back today against the idea that the Budget was essentially a Labour Budget, that it was more Gordon Brown than George Osborne. “If this had been a Labour Budget yesterday,” she said, “I would have been focusing on the cost of living crisis, on the fact that our tax system has become grossly unfair.”

Labour has been handed a gift by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, whose post-Budget analysis said that most people would be worse off next year. This gives Reeves an easy line in negativity, but what would Labour actually do differently?

The big losers from the Budget were people on universal credit who won’t benefit from the more generous rules for those in work. The Resolution Foundation’s post-Budget analysis calculates that three-quarters of those who are losing their £20-a-week uplift around now will still lose out.

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