After months of strike action, the government announced a "final" offer on pay increases for millions of teachers, doctors, civil servants, police and prison officers but the question of where the money was going to come from, sparked a backlash.

The PM ruled out giving any "new" money from central government coffers, meaning that health, education and other departmental budgets collectively are facing cuts of up to £3 billion to fund the pay rises.

Herts Advertiser: St Albans MP Daisy CooperSt Albans MP Daisy Cooper (Image: Courtesy of Daisy Cooper)

In other words, public sector pay rises will be funded mostly through public service cuts. In response, NHS leaders were unequivocal: the NHS does not have the cash to fund this uplift without additional support from government.

Just a few weeks ago for example, the government promised that the transformation of our local hospitals in Watford, St Albans and Hemel would be "fully funded" - now this announcement casts fresh doubt on that pledge.

So Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to guarantee that funding to fix crumbling hospital and school buildings will be ring-fenced, and to clarify whether the hospital building programme will be impacted by the cuts.

The government did also say that part of the money would come from increased charges on people coming to work here from abroad.

But as I pointed out in Parliament, businesses here in St Albans and around the country are crying out for international talent, because the U.K. labour market is so tight.

From farming and hospitality to science and engineering, increasing the cost of recruiting people from abroad through an increased health surcharge, is decidedly anti-business.

Over the past year, my party has come up with idea after idea about how the government could raise funding for public services and cost-of-living support in a fair way.

We’ve called for tax cuts for the big banks to be reversed, a move that could save the taxpayer £18bn over the next five years.

We’ve called for a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants by scrapping the investment allowance and putting in place a tougher rate.

We’ve also called for the government to get serious about tackling tax evasion and collect more of the billions in taxes that currently go unpaid.

Instead of heeding our calls, the government has opted for measures that are bad for business and bad for public services, leaving us all to pay the price.