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Opinion: More warm words from chancellor or real action for change

PUBLISHED: 08:30 07 March 2020

Bethnal Green & Bow MP, Rushanara Ali, hopes for a positive budget on March 11.

Bethnal Green & Bow MP, Rushanara Ali, hopes for a positive budget on March 11.

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The new chancellor Rishi Sunak will want us to think everything is going well with the UK economy when he presents his budget next week on March 11.

I don't want to spoil his big day, but despite whatever gimmicks he pulls out, the underlying economy is weak and sluggish. This economic weakness has a real impact on the lives of Eastenders.

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For example, the chancellor will tell us there are more jobs than ever before. But part-time or zero-hours jobs, without holiday pay or decent breaks are not good enough.

And what about housing? Thousands of people in Tower Hamlets are waiting for a decent place to live. We need more homes to buy and rent. Councils must build more affordable housing.

Lastly, we face a climate emergency. What will the budget do for green technologies and green jobs? We need tax incentives, investment and support for the next generation of green businesses to tackle climate change.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has a choice - more warm words or real action for change. Let's see what he delivers.

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