UK Politics

Budget 2013: Reaction to George Osborne's statement

A round-up of political and business reaction to George Osborne's Budget.

Ed Miliband, Labour leader

He's the wrong man in the wrong place at the worst possible time for the country. It's a downgraded Budget from a downgraded chancellor. Who is paying the price for the chancellor's failure? Britain's families. In his first Budget he predicted living standards would rise over the Parliament. But wages are flat. Prices are rising. And families are squeezed.

David Davis, Conservative MP

Making Britain truly competitive means taking tough and often unpopular decisions. The chancellor was right to cut corporation tax and national insurance for small business, but in my view the Budget could go further.

Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party leader

It's a Budget for headline writers who can pick out a few points from what is essentially a Budget that has not tackled the serious problems in our economy. The government has hopelessly missed all of their big economic targets on growth, the annual deficit and national debt.

Stewart Hosie, SNP Treasury spokesman

It was a miserable Budget. It was the wrong response to what is a really difficult economic crisis. Much of the good work will be done away with by the £11.5bn of spending cuts. It was the wrong answer to the wrong question and just continues along the austerity path that is clearly failing.

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesman

We saw a political admission from the chancellor in that he announced £3bn in capital spending. But that is a fraction of what is needed to turn around the dire economic forecasts we have seen.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader

George Osborne's obsession with austerity is now glaringly clear. With even the International Monetary Fund telling him he needs to spend more money, he's still stuck with Plan A, which is failing in even its own terms, with his deficit-reduction targets extending ever further into the distant future.

John Cridland, CBI

We're particularly pleased our call for a focus on the short-term boost of housing has been heeded, alongside an increase in longer-term big ticket infrastructure spending. This was recognition it was a mistake to cut capital spending so sharply and other growth-boosting measures were taking too long.

John Longworth, British Chambers of Commerce

There is much for business to commend in the chancellor's statement, from a wider remit for the Bank of England, to measures on fuel duty, home ownership, and employment. However, many in business will feel that the government could have gone even further to support enterprise and growth - for example, through immediate action on business rates and road maintenance.

Frances O'Grady, TUC

We face a jobs, growth and living standards crisis, yet today's proposals are small beer that do little more than tinker at the edges. The only long-term way to mend the public finances is to get a healthy growing economy where businesses and workers earn enough to spend confidently, and those who can afford it pay proper rates of tax.

Steve Turner, House Builders Federation

A lack of affordable mortgage availability remains the biggest constraint on housing supply, something government now clearly understands and is looking to address.

Brigid Simmonds, British Beer and Pubs Association

This is absolutely brilliant news, and it will make George Osborne the toast of Britain's pubs today.

Rosemary Gallagher, Scotch Whisky Association

The chancellor's decision to increase duty on spirits, while cutting beer duty, is unfair, incomprehensible and undermines one of Britain's major industries in its home market.

Miles Beale, Wine and Spirit Trade Association

It makes little sense to single out beer, particularly as there is a legal precedent to suggest government is unable to do so.

Mark Littlewood, Institute of Economic Affairs

This is a fiddly, tinkering, complicated budget which cannot be expected to do much to promote the economic growth the UK so badly needs. Spending remains too high and the government may well continue to run a deficit for the rest of the decade.

Mike Jones, Local Government Association

The appetite of local authorities to build homes, create jobs and boost growth continues to be stifled because of a Treasury imposed housing borrowing cap which councils, developers and even the markets agree is unnecessary.

Jonathan Isaby, Taxpayer's Alliance

The cut in beer tax, the freeze in fuel duty and the higher personal allowance will all ease the pressure on family budgets. Unfortunately, the great limitation of this Budget was it relied far too much on complicated targeted reliefs instead of tax cuts across the board.

Matthew Reed, The Children's Society

If the government is committed to creating an 'aspiration nation' then it must invest in this country's children. It is good news that health and education budgets are being protected. But we are very concerned that childcare changes will fail to help families most in need of support.

Julian McCrae, The Institute for Government

For the second year in a row, the weaknesses in the way we make budgetary policy have embarrassed the chancellor. The Budget is not subject to the norms of cabinet discussion and good policy making. This year the chancellor suffered the extra embarrassment of the whole Budget being leaked by a newspaper - for the first time since 1996.

Carl Emmerson, Institute for Fiscal Studies

The hardest hit, if you look at the whole picture, seem to be those at the very top. The next hardest hit are working-age families towards the bottom of the income distribution. Those who have been relatively less hard hit are those in the upper middle of the income distribution and, in particular, pensioners who are protected from much of the austerity. I don't think there is much that will change that overall picture.