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Tories pull rug out from under the recovery

George Osborne says his top priority is cutting the deficit. But in order to get the deficit down, you need to keep economic growth up and you need to keep unemployment down.

You don't get borrowing down by pulling the plug on support for business, throwing people out of work and stifling economic growth.

The Chancellor delivered a Budget that will throw people out of work, hold back economic growth and damage the public services we all rely on. Increasing VAT from 17.5% to 20% will mean higher prices in the shops, paid for by everyone - from pensioners to the unemployed.

The Tories' cuts are unfair to families and older people: cuts to the disability living allowance, cuts to help for the jobless, cuts to tax credits, cutting back free school meals and cuts to child benefit, which they have frozen for the next three years.

What the country needed was a Budget to support economic growth, protect jobs and cut the deficit fairly.

Instead, the Tories gave us a reckless Budget that pulls the rug out from under the recovery.

And they couldn't have done it without the support of the Lib Dems, who have let down everyone who voted for them in the election just a few weeks ago.

ROGER DANE

Belfast

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