UK Politics

Ed Miliband attacks 'downgraded' Budget

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Media captionEd Miliband: "A more of the same Budget from a downgraded chancellor"

Labour leader Ed Miliband has attacked George Osborne for a "downgraded Budget from a downgraded chancellor".

Mr Miliband said the chancellor was the "wrong man, in the wrong place, at the worst possible time for the country".

He attacked the government for failing to help people struggling with the rising cost of living, insisting there had been no progress on the economy.

Mr Osborne said it was taking longer, but he was "slowly but surely" fixing the country's economic problems.

In his fourth Budget as chancellor, Mr Osborne announced a package of measures, including a cut to corporation tax and an increase in the personal tax allowance.

But he was forced to slash growth forecasts and revise up those for national debt.

Mr Miliband said the chancellor was failing to meet his economic targets and after three years in power there had been no progress on the economy.

'Laughing millionaires'

Responding to the chancellor's statement, Mr Miliband claimed the Budget showed that people would be worse off in 2015 than when the coalition came to power.

He said Mr Osborne had failed to keep his part of the "deal" he made with voters in 2010.

Mr Osborne had promised four years of pain, four years of tax rises and spending cuts before "good times" returned, the Labour leader said.

"But three years on, what does he say? Exactly what he said three years ago.

"We still need four more years of pain, tax rises and spending cuts. In other words, after all the misery, all the harsh medicine, all the suffering by the British people, three years, no progress, deal broken."

In angry exchanges, the Labour leader rejected the prime minister's suggestion that Labour would borrow more in office, claiming the coalition was already doing so - with an extra £200bn more borrowing than planned.

He attacked the government's record on growth and said the Budget offered only "more of the same" failing policies.

He added: "The chancellor has failed the test of the British people - growth, living standards, and hope - but he's not just failed their tests, he has failed on his own as well.

"Today, the chancellor joined Twitter. He could have got it all into 140 characters: Growth down, borrowing up, families hit, and millionaires laughing all the way to the bank - hashtag downgraded chancellor.

"More of the same is not the answer to the problems of the last three years.

"More of the same is the answer of a downgraded chancellor in a downgraded government. Britain deserves better than this."