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Autumn Statement: the political reaction

03 Dec 2014

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said: ‘Back in 2010, the Chancellor and the Prime Minister pledged to balance the budget by the end of this Parliament and see the national debt falling. Today that promise lies in tatters’.

He added: ‘The squeeze on living standards has not only hit family budgets, it has also led to a shortfall in tax revenues. The lesson of this Autumn Statement is that a plan to balance the books will only work if it puts good jobs, rising living standards and stronger growth at its heart’.

A statement from the Liberal Democrat party said: ‘This is a plan which sticks to our strategy to deal with the deficit, enabling us to release funds for key Liberal Democrat priorities.

‘We have protected our world class health service by providing an extra £3.1 billion across the UK for the NHS. This includes making £2 billion additional funding available for NHS services in England for the next financial year 2015/16’.

Mark Serwotka,  General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: The legacy of this Government's obsession with austerity is a broken economy where low pay and insecure work are rife, meaning we have economic growth but falling living standards and rising employment but falling tax revenues’.

Senior Economist at Capital Economics, Samuel Tombs, said: ‘The early indications from the UK Autumn Statement are that the Chancellor has resisted the temptation to hand households any significant tax cuts before next May's general election’. He pointed out that the new measures, while significant, amount to tax breaks of only £1 billion.