Budget 'same old Tories': Labour
Chancellor George Osborne's first Budget will "throw people out of work" and stifle growth, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman has claimed.
The financial statement was a "Tory Budget", she said, arguing that the Liberal Democrat elements of the coalition Government had "always fought against" many of the measures introduced by Mr Osborne.
Faced with fierce heckling as she responded to Mr Osborne's statement in the Commons, Ms Harman told Government MPs to "read the book" of Budget statistics, telling them growth would be lower as a result of the measures.
She said: "It's the same old Tories."
Ms Harman said it was Mr Osborne's first Budget but "we have seen it all before" from the Conservatives.
"This is a Tory Budget that will throw people out of work, that will hold back economic growth ... and will harm vital public services. Yes, it's his first Budget but it's the same old Tories, hitting hardest those who can least afford it and breaking their promises."
While this was "true to form" from the Conservatives, Ms Harman said it "includes things that the Liberal Democrats have always fought against - surely they cannot vote for this".
One of the measures opposed by Lib Dems at the general election was a rise in VAT. When Mr Osborne announced plans to increase the rate to 20%, Commons Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle was forced to intervene to restore order amid loud protests from Labour benches.
Ms Harman continued: "The Chancellor says his top priority is to cut the deficit. In order to get the deficit down, you need to keep economic growth up and you need to keep unemployment down. This Budget is bad for growth and that will make it harder to cut the deficit."
In a report today, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set up by Mr Osborne revealed "because of this Budget growth next year will be lower than it would have been under our policies to support the economy", Ms Harman said. "They have revised growth for next year down from 2.6% to 2.3% because of the harm that his Budget does."