In Depth

Labour dismisses Hammond's 'broken promises Budget'

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell say austerity is far from over

Labour says spending cuts are continuing under the Conservative government, despite the Chancellor’s claim yesterday that austerity is “coming to an end”.

In his Budget, Philip Hammond said he plans to use a tax receipts windfall to inject money into the National Health Service and universal credit. The Chancellor also vowed to accelerate cuts in income tax.

Britain is at “a turning point in our nation’s recovery”, he told the House of Commons.

But as MPs prepare to formally debate the Budget later today, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Hammond of delivering a “broken-promise Budget”. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell was also not convinced, insisting “it is now clear austerity is not over” and forecasting that “the cuts to social security will continue”.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable dismissed the Budget as “a standstill non-event”.

However, The Guardian reports that Tory backbenchers positively “lapped up” Hammond's speech. One former cabinet minister told the newspaper: “The government doesn’t really have anything to worry about,” adding that the Budget “will keep the backbenches in line for now”.

Janet Daley of the Daily Telegraph said the Budget included a “hidden message” for Tory rebels: “if you create too much division and dissension over Brexit, you could put all of this in jeopardy”.

Writing for The Independent, Sean O’Grady said Hammond’s Budget was “pitched straight at Middle England – and it could just see the Tories win the next election”.

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