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Budget 2009: Pick and mix Budget fails on all counts

April 22, 2009 10:22 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg has described today's Budget as "a pick and mix Budget of recycled announcements from a government skilled in raising people's hopes but incompetent at actually delivering help."

Responding to Alistair Darling's Budget, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

"Today we got a pick and mix Budget of recycled announcements from a government skilled in raising people's hopes but incompetent at actually delivering help.

"This Budget is a political supermarket sweep of random promises, without even a hint of a plan or any likelihood the promises will be put into practice.

"The biggest disappointment in this Budget is its failure to sort out Britain's unfair tax system. To put money into people's pockets to help them make it through this recession.

"Britain's taxes are too heavy on those who can least afford it. And too easy to avoid for those who know how.

"The 50p rate will further encourage the very wealthy to avoid tax unless we tackle the unfair loopholes they exploit.

"The Liberal Democrats would get practical help to people who are struggling and cut the vast majority of people's Income Tax bills by £700, paid for by taking aggressive action to clamp down on all the loopholes and exemptions that benefit the richest people and biggest businesses.

"We would take big choices about what government should and shouldn't do.

"With a shocking deficit this year of £175bn we need a national debate about what the state can and cannot afford in the future.

"That is the responsible way - the honest way - to reduce spending in the years ahead and avoid painful higher taxes.

"But Labour is out of ideas and out of steam.

"Today they have condemned us to years of unemployment and a decade of debt.

"The country deserves something different."