Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

George Osborne dismisses 'empty' Budget

The Tories have accused Chancellor Alistair Darling of producing an "empty" Budget which fails to measure up to the scale of the economic challenges confronting the country.

In resumed debate on the Budget on 25 March 2010, shadow chancellor George Osborne said Mr Darling had "completely failed" to rise to the challenge created by the "storm of economic problems" facing the UK.

He said the "missing centrepiece" of the tax and spend package was a "credible plan" to deal with the budget deficit.

Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper said Mr Osborne had managed "plenty of sneering and plenty of posturing" but had not outlined "a single policy to get the economy growing".

She claimed the Tories wanted to cut funding which provides support for young people to find work.

"How dare they deny those young people their start in their career because they won't back the funding, they won't back the support to get the young people back into jobs," she said.

For the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes said the Budget was "an opportunity for a new spring awakening of awareness in the government" that had been missed.

He said the British people wanted a "fairer tax system" and a "clear plan" to reduce the deficit, but yesterday's statement had not delivered either.

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