Budget 2014: opposition reacts to Budget announcements
19 Mar 2014
Responding to George Osborne's 2014 Budget speech, Labour leader Ed Miliband has condemned the measures, arguing that the Chancellor is 'giving with one hand and taking far more with the other'.
Highlighting the '24 tax rises' introduced since 2010, the Labour leader was keen to highlight a mismatch between the Chancellor's description of the UK economy and the experience of many individuals, claiming the Budget painted a picture that 'working people will not recognise'.
'You can change the shape of the pound but it doesn't matter if the pound is square, round or oval – if you're £1,600 worse off, you're still £1,600 a year worse off,' he said.
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said, 'This was a pre-election Budget. It will be paid for by further years of austerity, public services brought near to collapse, public sector pay cuts and a welfare cap that bites into the safety net that any of us might need'.
However, the Institute of Directors described the Chancellor's announcements as a 'responsible and imaginative Budget… which will be widely welcomed across the business community'.
Business Secretary Vince Cable commented, 'The steps today will make sure that the recovery is properly balanced and properly sustained. We're beginning to see the fruits feeding though but it takes time'.