Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 19:22 UK

In quotes: Reaction to Budget

CHANCELLOR ALISTAIR DARLING

Taken together, this Budget will build on the strengths of the British economy and its people, speed the recovery, providing jobs and spreading prosperity.

CONSERVATIVE LEADER DAVID CAMERON

The last Labour government gave us the winter of discontent. This Labour government has given us the decade of debt. The last Labour government left the dead unburied. This one leaves the debts unpaid.

LIB DEM LEADER NICK CLEGG

Labour is out of ideas and out of steam. They have condemned us to years of unemployment and decades of debt. The public deserves something different.

ANGUS ROBERTSON MP, SNP

A Labour government is cutting public spending in the teeth of a recession. It is going to affect people very badly in public services. That is to be regretted.

ADAM PRICE MP, PLAID CYMRU

Instead of showing leadership they are going to be cutting back on public services, that is going to have a tremendously difficult effect on the economy. We are all going to have to pay for the government's mistakes and they haven't been honest with the people about that.

MATTHEW ELLIOTT, TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE

This Budget commits taxpayers to a terrifying amount of debt that will burden ordinary families for decades to come. The government's proposals are totally inadequate to deal with the size of the crisis we face.

DEREK SIMPSON, UNITE UNION

The chancellor's announcements on tax, the scrappage scheme and employment puts Labour back on the side of working families. Borrowing to shorten the recession is the right action to protect our economy and our members' jobs.

RICHARD LAMBERT, CBI DIRECTOR-GENERAL

The key question for this Budget was whether it set out a credible and rigorous path for restoring the public finances to health. The CBI's preliminary judgement must be that it does not.

JOHN WRIGHT, FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

We welcome moves to focus on jobs and job creation for young people, but we are very disappointed that this budget will do nothing for those firms which are doing their best to hold on to their valued employees. A government funded wage subsidy for short-time working would have been a real help but was totally ignored.

MICHELLE MITCHELL, AGE CONCERN

Maintaining the winter fuel payment, measures to help grandparents and help for low-income savers will provide cheer to pensioners in an otherwise gloomy Budget. But the failure to do more to tackle fuel poverty will continue to leave many pensioners out in the cold.

KATE GREEN, CHILD POVERTY ACTION GROUP

The money targeted on the children struggling most during the recession amounts to less each week than the cost of a pint of milk. It is disgraceful to give such a pittance.

DAVID FROST, BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

The chancellor appears to have understood that it will be business driving the economy out of recession, and there are some good measures that reflect this.

BOB CROW, RAIL MARITIME AND TRANSPORT UNION

With a combined £30bn worth of public sector cuts and privatisation, this budget represents the final political suicide note of the New Labour government.

DAVID ORR, NATIONAL HOUSING FEDERATION

The government is right to take a stake in housing projects where work has stalled and to make it easier for social housing to be built, but ministers needed to go further.

JOHN SAUVEN, GREENPEACE

Ministers tell us climate change is the great challenge of our time, but the money found for renewables and energy efficiency is only marginally more than Mr Darling found earlier this year for RBS bonuses.



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