Jeremy Corbyn: Budget is an 'admission of failure' by the Tories on austerity
Rishi Sunak's first Budget is an “admission that austerity has been a failed experiment”, Jeremy Corbyn has claimed.
Speaking following the Chancellor's statement, the Labour party leader said his spending announcements were “nowhere near enough”.
He said: “The reality is that this budget is an admission of failure, an admission that austerity has been a failed experiment that didn’t solve our economic problems but made them worse that held back our recovery and failed even on its own terms.
“And today’s measures go nowhere near reversing the damage that has been done to our country.”
It comes after the Chancellor announced a £30bn package to tackle the economic effects of the coronavirus by helping workers, businesses and benefit claimants.
Mr Sunak has promised to pump billions of extra pounds of public spending into the UK economy over the next five years as part of a "plan for prosperity" to combat stalling growth.
In total, the measures announced by Mr Sunak will cost the Government £40bn a year by the end of the Parliament, according to the Treasury.
But Mr Corbyn was dismissive of the extra spending, branding it “smoke and mirrors”.
He continued: “The Chancellor expects plaudits for half-filling the investment hole his party has dug.
“Amid a blizzard of hype, he is claiming today marks 'the biggest capital injection since the 1950s'.
“But Madam Deputy Speaker, this is all smoke and mirrors. As a percentage of GDP, it only returns us to the levels we had before the Conservatives slashed investment so drastically in 2010.”
Mr Sunak used his speech, which included a vow to boost the Government's 'Living Wage' and cut National Insurance, to brand the Conservatives “the real workers' party”.
But Mr Corbyn said: “There is a gaping chasm between the rhetoric the Conservatives have adopted and the reality of what they will deliver.
“Because the Conservative Party will never stand up for working class communities.
“They will always put the interests of their wealthy friends first.
He continued: “And as the reality of today’s announcements becomes clear and the hard-sell and spin fade away, this budget will undoubtedly come to be seen as a lost opportunity.
“A failure of ambition and a bitter disappointment to all those people who have been promised so much, but from what we’ve heard today are actually going to see so little."