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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Tory leader: Budget will 'pain' nation
Iain Duncan Smith
Gordon Brown stood accused of inflicting higher taxes and higher borrowing on the nation as he unveiled his seventh Budget.

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the chancellor had "got his forecasts wrong again", claiming that from this week a typical family was another 568 a year worse off.

Mr Brown had put up taxes "on pay and jobs, on homes and homeowners, mortgages and marriages, on petrol and pensions", said Mr Duncan Smith in his response to the chancellor's Budget statement.

This government's tax take has risen by over 50% since you became the chancellor
Iain Duncan Smith
Instead there were one million people on hospital waiting lists, a crime committed every five seconds and thousands of children leaving school without a single GCSE to their name, the Tory leader said.

"This is a chancellor who promised us prudence and has now given us higher borrowing and higher taxes at the same time.

"Your Budget message is clear - higher taxes, that's pain today, and higher borrowing, that's more pain tomorrow."

Mr Duncan Smith welcomed measures to counter terrorism and combat world poverty.

Worse off

But he warned there was "damaging detail" in the fine print, adding: "It's the same old story - more taxes, more spend, more waste."

"Your borrowing is up again. Taxes are up and they are going to stay up," said Mr Duncan Smith.

"From this week a typical family is another 568 a year worse off."

Live now: Budget 2003

The chancellor was not being "candid", the Tory leader said, stressing that details showed the savings ratio was forecast to be even lower this year than last, manufacturing output fell last year by 4% and this year's forecast had been "slashed as well".

Mr Duncan Smith accused the government of taking an extra 5,500 per household per year - 44 a week "for every man, woman or child".

'Broken promises'

The Tory leader mocked the chancellor's "great excuse" for higher taxes that it would help make public services "world class".

He also knocked Labour's claim that it would not raise taxes, he said: "Fifty three tax rises later, this week when people receive their pay packets they will find that their take home pay has fallen for the first time in 20 years.

"Now they know what you really stand for - promises, promises, promises. Every year you make them and every year you break them."

Mr Duncan Smith criticised the chancellor for imposing an 8bn tax on jobs through National Insurance rises.

"The chancellor has been so hard on business that since 1997 he has taken an extra 47bn from them in tax," he said.

Council tax

The Tory leader said insolvencies were at their worst for 10 years, with 70,000 firms predicted to go bust in the next three years, and manufacturing losing 300 jobs a day since Labour came to power.

"Manufacturing output and investment are now lower than when you delivered your first Budget in 1997," he said.

Council tax has risen 60% since 1997, adding more than 400 to a typical bill.

The cost of buying the average house in the South East had soared by 5,000 with the increases in Stamp Duty, while the abolition of mortgage tax relief was costing homeowners 200 a year.

The abolition of the married couples allowance meant families were 500 poorer each year and the average motorist was losing 300 because of higher petrol tax.

To cheers from Tory MPs, Mr Duncan Smith added: "In short this government's tax take has risen by over 50% since you became the chancellor."




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Chancellor Gordon Brown
"It is now time for the world's richest countries... to fulfil their obligations to the poorest"




VOTE RESULTS
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