Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 19:02 UK

John Redwood praises 'progressive' Budget

Contrary to Labour's claims, Chancellor George Osborne has delivered a "progressive" Budget which will leave highest earners bearing the brunt of deficit reduction, Tory former cabinet minister John Redwood has said.

On 22 June 2010, during the first of several days' debate on the Budget, Mr Redwood told MPs: "So this is, as the chancellor said himself, a very progressive Budget in that sense - that he has shielded those on low incomes from more of the impact and made those on higher incomes carry more of the impact."

He welcomed the public sector pay freeze and told MPs that many private sector workers had also faced wage stagnation in recent years.

Mr Redwood said the proof of the Budget would be what happened to private sector recovery over the next year.

He said that Mr Osborne "needs to turn his attention urgently to the state of the British banking industry and the capability of the British banks to finance the private sector-led recovery that we clearly need".

"I do not believe that the current regulators of the British banks have got it right and whilst I fully support centralising regulation of money markets and banks in the Bank of England... that in itself is not enough.

"That is a structural change, what we also need is an attitude change," he said.

Labour former minister Chris Leslie, who returned to the House in May after losing his seat in 2005, argued that the "severity and austerity" of the Budget was not necessary.

The MP for Nottingham East said Mr Osborne had embarked on an "exceptionally risky strategy".

He said: "This notion that the condition that we are in is all the fault of the previous Labour government is really stretching it too far."

Hitting out at the Tories, he said: "Ideologically they secretly enjoy cutting public expenditure... There's a certain kind of masochistic relish that they take in scaling back this public expenditure."

The first part of the Budget debate can be found here.

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