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Balls: Budget is a 'big failure'

The shadow chancellor has said that the chancellor's is "gambling" on cutting the 50p top rate of tax and called the Budget a "big failure".

Reacting to yesterday's announcements, Ed Balls told the Today programme's Justin Webb that measures in this Budget have to be taken alongside new measures announced in previous budgets that are being introduced in April such as a freeze on tax credit and taking away child benefit.

He said that Labour estimated that after April a family on £20,000 would be £253 worse off than they are today, whereas taxpayers earning more than £150,000 will be better off by around £10,000.

"People knew there had to be tax rises and spending cuts, "he said, but added that the cumulative effect means that pensioners are being hit and families earning £17,000 are "massively worse off".

Mr Balls asked how it could be fair that "the chancellor decided to have huge tax cut for people over £150,000".

He went on to say that Mr Osborne was gambling that £2.9bn will come in from those with "money offshore or dodging tax" and that deferring the introduction of the new tax rate deferring it by a year is costing £2.4bn.

He said that Labour will vote against the drop to 45p tax rate for top earners.

The shadow chancellor insisted that the Budget was "big failure" and added there was "nothing on jobs and growth" and that it fails to get the deficit down.

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