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The Joy Squire's Column - Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Worcester writes for The Observer

Worcester Editorial 30th Jan, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

DAVID Cameron says we are all now better off. He claims that take home pay has increased so that has put more money in our pockets.

Do you feel better off?  No – I thought not. Most people I meet are finding it a struggle to make ends meet and many are dipping into savings, or running up credit card bills, to cope.

The sad fact is that many who are struggling most are in work. To say we are all better off shows just how out of touch with reality David Cameron is.

The Tories have delivered the slowest economic recovery for 100 years. They have also delivered a cost of living crisis with real wages down by £1600 a year for working people.

In 2010, this government promised strong and balanced growth, rising living standards and the budget deficit gone by 2015. What we’ve had is anything but.

We’ve had a flat-lining economy for over three years, falling living standards and borrowing of £200 billion more than planned because of lack of growth.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says there is no prospect of wages returning to 2010 levels for several years to come.

Yet while most of us have been reeling from falling wages, higher taxes and increased prices, anyone earning over £150,000 has had a tax cut. That cannot be right.

A key part of the Tory plan for recovery is to cut public services. This is now really taking its toll, with services for the elderly and most vulnerable being removed, with potentially devastating results.

I recently visited Chelmsford Court in Ronkswood, to meet residents who are worried about the cuts to their Warden Service being proposed by Tory Worcestershire County Council.

I met one resident who, at 103 years of age, only manages to stay in her home because of the Warden Service. Without it she would be in a care home. She is one of nearly 2000 residents in Worcester who face losing their Wardens and community care line.

Ordinary working families struggling to make ends meet for years to come; elderly, vulnerable people fearing the loss of services that are a lifeline for them; the richest benefiting most. Is that the kind of economic recovery we want?

It is the economic recovery being offered by David Cameron. I believe that Britain can do better than that.

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