Thursday, 22 March 2012

George Osborne used to say “we are all in this together”. Well, not any more.

George Osborne used to say “we are all in this together”. Well, not any more.

Because today he gave a Budget where - as Ed Miliband said in the House of Commons - millions were asked to pay more, so millionaires can pay less.

In tough times the choices this Tory-led government is making tells you everything you need to know about them.

They prove that George Osborne and David Cameron are totally out of touch with what life is like for people in our country.

At a time when bills are going up for families on middle and low incomes George Osborne has added to them all. Fuel duty is going up this summer, even though petrol prices are at a record high. He’s even added to the cost of a sausage roll from Greggs.

And at the very same time the Budget gave a tax cut to the very richest people in our country. Just 14,000 people earning £1 million or more will get a Budget boost of over £40,000 each year.

David Cameron and George Osborne could have used the money to cut fuel duty or reverse unfair and perverse cuts to tax credits – which will see thousands of working parents better off quitting work from next month. They could have used the money to reduce the cuts to police officers or help pay the down the deficit.

Instead they chose to cut taxes for the 300,000 people earning over £150,000 - the richest one per cent. How can this be the right priority now?

Whatever he says about increasing the income tax personal allowance a family with children earning just £20,000 will still lose around £253 a year from this April.

And shockingly he slipped out a £3 billion tax raid on pensioners over the next four years. Nearly four and a half million pensioners who pay income tax will lose an average of £83 per year next April. And people turning 65 next year will lose up to £322.


And all this comes from a government whose economic policies have utterly failed on jobs, growth and the deficit.

Of course there have to be tough decisions on tax, spending and pay. But we won’t get the deficit down unless we have a plan for jobs and growth to get our economy moving again and get people off the dole and into work.

And that was the gaping hole in today’s Budget. It wasn’t just unfair, it had no plan for jobs like Labour’s plan which includes a guaranteed job for every young person out of work for more than a year – fully funded by a tax on bank bonuses.

Instead in Tory Britain unemployment is at a 17 year high, with a record one million young people out of work. Our economy has stalled as America races ahead. And this slower growth and higher unemployment means the government is set to borrow an extra £150 billion to pay for this economic failure.

George Osborne's plan has failed. Trying to raise taxes and cut spending too far and too fast has backfired. And with his tax cut for millionaires he is piling insult upon injury for millions of families and pensioners across Britain.

In the Budget debates we will vote against this unfair tax cut for millionaires, but we need your help. Let's get out campaigning on the doorstep for Labour's five point plan for jobs and growth and to reverse these unfair cuts to tax credits – before it’s too late.

Ed Balls