Labour slams Osborne’s 2013 budget
Labour leader Ed Miliband described George Osborne’s budget announcement as a “downgraded budget from a downgraded Chancellor” in the House of Commons yesterday.
Miliband, in an untypically impressive display in the Commons, launched a venomous offensive against Osborne: “Every Budget he comes to this House and things are worse not better for the country. Compared to last year’s Budget: Growth last year down, growth this year down, growth next year down.”
The Labour benches were in buoyant mood, joining in with Miliband for a chorus of “downs”. Labour took full advantage of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) downgraded growth forecast which had been slashed in half from 1.2% to a meagre 0.6%.
The OBR warned that this did not take into account the crisis surrounding Cyprus, fuelling fears that Britain could be on the brink of an historic triple dip recession.
Miliband continued his assault by using the Chancellor’s own words against him. “Now, what did the Prime Minister declare late last year, and I quote: ‘The good news will keep coming’. And what did the Chancellor tell us today? Under this Government the bad news just doesn’t stop,” he added.
There was certainly more bad news on Budget day for Osborne, in the form of rising unemployment figures for the first time in over a year, up by 7,000. Unemployment amongst 16-24 year olds is now just short of 1 million, up by 53,000.
A huge cut in corporation tax from 28% to 20% and a cut in the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p, which will see people earning more than £1million given a whopping £107,000 tax cut, led Mr. Miliband to say on Twitter that the Budget would leave “millionaires laughing all the way to the bank,” while Britain’s families are “paying the price for [Osborne’s] failure.”
It was not just an attack on the Budget, it was a personal attack against Obsorne, with Miliband concluding, “he’s the wrong man. In the wrong place. At the worst possible time for the country.”