2013 Autumn Statement: The political reaction
05 Dec 2013
‘The job is not yet done,’ was the key message from Chancellor George Osborne today when he delivered his Autumn Statement.
Asserting that the UK requires ‘a government that lives within its means’, he emphasised the importance of continuing with measures already in place, and warned that ‘the job is not yet done’.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, responding to the speech, said that the government has done nothing to address what he referred to as the ‘cost of living crisis’. He warned that the Chancellor is in ‘complete denial’, adding that wages will fall in the coming years.
Liberal Democrat MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, Sir Alan Beith, felt that the Autumn Statement showed how the two parties can work together in the national interest.
Speaking for the Public and Commercial Services union, Mark Serwotka said the ‘ludicrous claim that austerity is working will be news to those whose living standards are continuing to fall’. He added ‘it’s austerity for austerity’s sake’.
Meanwhile, chief economist Jonathan Loynes for the think-tank Capital Economics warned that ‘the UK’s fiscal consolidation still has a long way to go,’ adding that the Chancellor ‘has played Scrooge rather than Santa’.