John McDonnell: Osborne should scrap the Budget and start again

Posted On: 
20th March 2016
John McDonnell has said the Government should withdraw the Budget following the furore about planned cuts to Personal Independence Payment.

The Chancellor confirmed plans to reduce Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in Wednesday's Budget.

But following a backlash from campaigners and his own MPS, David Cameron announced the proposals to cut £1.3bn from disabled benefits would be re-examined in his reply to Iain Duncan Smith's resignation.



Minister attacks IDS’ motives for quitting
Iain Duncan Smith resigns from Cabinet with blast at George Osborne over disability benefit cuts 


Meanwhile, Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said Mr Duncan Smith's resignation should raise "serious questions" about George Osborne's position in Government. 

Today Mr McDonnell said he could not see how the Budget could now proceed as it did not add up. 

Mr McDonnell said the Chancellor would have either have to pull the whole Budget, or find a way to revive it, but he would have to do so before Tuesday. 

He told Pienaar's Politics: "I can't see how the Budget can now go forward this week because a huge hole has now opened up within the Budget itself. Already Osborne had to find £3.5m of cuts which were unidentified but now there's another £4bn so I can't see how this Budget can proceed this week.

"I think something has got to happen between David Cameron and George Osborne where they come to Parliament, most probably that they've got to withdraw this Parliament and start again. 

He added: "This has to happen between now and Tuesday because the Budget is being voted on on Tuesday.

"We are in this extraordinary position where the Budget doesn't add up and the Chancellor of the Exchequer will either have to pull the whole Budget or come forward with a process with which he can revive a Budget."

Mr Burnham told Sky New's Murnaghan: "A very senior member of it has just said the whole Govt strategy is unfair, they've been pursuing a policy that hurts the most vulnerable...from my point of view I think that says this whole government approach needs to be rethought and actually it raises serious questions now about the future of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

"It is the Chancellor of the Exchequer who should be considering his position today."

He added: "What's happening here is that the real villain of the piece is emerging and that rightly is the Chancellor, George Osborne...I've always had a suspicion that he plays politics with the lives of vulnerable people and I've seen what that does to people in my own surgery, he's reduced people to a state of fear and sheer nervous exhaustion."