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Budget 2010: Political reactions

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24th Mar 2010
Editorial team AccountingWEB.co.uk
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The chancellor has made his position clear, but what do other politicians think of the new measures? We'll be updating this feed of political responses to the Budget Report, so keep your eyes peeled for updates.

David Cameron, Conservative leader

"The biggest risk to the recovery is five more years of this prime minister. This prime minister is going around telling everyone 'stick with me, stick with what you know'. But that is the whole problem, this country is stuck with him, our economy is stuck, business is stuck, nothing is moving.

"The risk to recovery is not in dealing with the deficit now, it's in not dealing with the deficit now.
"Every family knows that when your debts mount up you need to start paying them off or things only get worse and it's time for the government to learn the same lessons.
"The prime minister and chancellor faced a choice – between bold action in an election year or playing politics. Once again, they chose politics.
"No one has yet thought of a question to which the answer is five more years of this prime minister. 
"We need a credible plan to cut the deficit. We need an unleashing of enterprise across the nation. We need a plan to boost employment through radical welfare and school reform. If ever there was a time when this country needed a radical change of direction it is now."
"Britain needs new energy, leadership and values to get this country moving again. That's the argument we’ll take to the country the moment the Prime Minister has been forced by the law of the land to call the election he has avoided for so long."

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Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader

"This Budget was a political dodge not an economic plan.
 
"Britain needed a Budget that gave us honesty in spending and fairness in tax, we have got neither.
 
"Labour is in denial, while the Conservatives are talking tough to cover up that they only offer more of the same.
 
"The chancellor is incapable of coming clean about where spending cuts will have to fall.
 
"Rather than being honest with people about what the government can and cannot afford, the chancellor would rather let others indiscriminately shave departmental budgets.
 
"By confirming the freeze in personal allowances the government has ensured everyone will see a real increase in their income tax bill – when what people on low and middle incomes desperately need is an income tax cut.
 
"Rather than forcing the nationalised banks to lend to good British businesses they have chosen to create a feeble quango to arbitrate between bullying banks and their small business clients.
 
"It says something when the most substantive announcement the government can come up with is a tax agreement with Belize, however welcome that may be."

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Stewart Hosie MP, SNP MP and treasury spokesman

"With the general election looming, this was Alistair Darling’s last chance to deliver for Scotland and he failed. While he tried to soften the blow by staggering the increase, the Chancellor is proceeding with a 3p increase in fuel duty between now and next year.

"Across Scotland, many hard pressed families are struggling to cope as fuel prices continue to soar – in some rural areas they are now in excess of £1.25 per litre. This 3p increase will be sorely felt by both hauliers and motorists.

"In these tough economic times, the Chancellor should have set out a Budget that supported jobs and recovery as we emerge from Labour’s recession. Instead, he has confirmed he will slash the Scotland’s budget and cut off accelerated capital spend dealing a cruel blow to the Scottish recovery.

"The Scottish government is delivering a comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan to ensure the fragile positive signs we see across the country are sustained and result in a return to economic growth but Alistair Darling’s actions today jeopardise the Scottish Government’s ability to do this.

"With this Budget, the Labour government have shown they would rather save face with the City than support Scotland’s communities.”

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