06 September 2023

‘Labour cannot be allowed to bankrupt Britain’, claims Sunak

06 September 2023

Labour cannot be allowed to “bankrupt Britain”, Rishi Sunak has said, following news about Birmingham City Council’s financial state.

The Prime Minister criticised Labour’s record running Birmingham, where the local authority declared itself effectively bankrupt on Tuesday when it issued a Section 114 notice.

The announcement means all new spending will stop immediately with the exception of protecting vulnerable people and statutory services.

Mr Sunak also claimed Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer had “allowed” the Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to introduce the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) expansion.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Tory MP for West Bromwich East, Nicola Richards, said: “People in the West Midlands are disappointed to see that Labour-run Birmingham City Council has gone bankrupt.”

She added: “Does the Prime Minister agree that Labour have demonstrated yet again that they always run out of other people’s money?”

Mr Sunaks responded: “She is exactly right. We started by hearing how Labour in London are charging hardworking people with Ulez.

“Now we are hearing about how Labour in Birmingham are failing hardworking people, losing control of taxpayers money, and driving their finances into the ground.

“They’ve bankrupted Birmingham, we can’t let them bankrupt Britain.”

Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in Europe, is not the first to issue a Section 114 notice this year, following Woking, which did so in June.

Elsewhere in the debate, Mr Sunak took aim at London’s Labour mayor for the Ulez expansion.

The expansion introduced at the end of August means most motorists driving polluting cars within the zone will have to pay £12.50 a day.

Conservative MP Louie French (Old Bexley and Sidcup) said: “The Labour Party used to claim that it represents working class people, but Labour’s Ulez expansion to Greater London will now hammer millions of working people billed for £12.50 a day, or £4,500 per year.

“Does the Prime Minister agree with me that it is unacceptable for Londoners and those in surrounding counties to face this regressive and unacceptable tax and will he do everything that he can to help working people?”

Mr Sunak responded: “I agree with him.

“It is disappointing that last week the Labour leader allowed the Labour mayor to introduce Ulez.

“Charging hardworking people £12.50 every time they start their car, adding to the burden of the cost of living.

“All I can say is while we focus on helping hardworking families, all he (Sir Keir) does is punish them.”

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