McDonnell, McCluskey and Rachel Reeves join chorus of criticism after chancellor humiliated in Budget u-turn

15th March, 2017 3:43 pm

Philip Hammond has been humiliated, Labour said today, after the chancellor scrapped a key Budget tax rise just a week after it was announced.

Hammond’s credibility has been “shredded”, said opposite number John McDonnell, in a lengthy a statement today.

Now the government must explain how it plans to fill the “black hole” in its plans, Jeremy Corbyn said at prime minister’s questions today. The cash was earmarked as a boost for the struggling social care sector.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, joined the chorus of criticism, saying: “Hammond’s ham-fisted increase in national insurance contributions for the increasing numbers of self-employed people in last week’s Budget demonstrated again how little this government understands the realities of modern-day employment.”

“The vast majority of these workers are among the swelling army of the low waged and insecure, often lacking any employment rights, social security support, pensions or any kind of safety net. They simply could not have afforded a hike in NI contributions.”

“The government clearly needs to get back to the drawing board and understand what is propelling the rise in self-employment and how our systems of support and taxation are fraying, before it hits the wallets of working people.”

Owen Smith, the former leadership contender, wrote on Twitter:

Alison McGovern, a former shadow Treasury minister, wrote on Twitter in a reference to a Progress article detailing the Tories ten failures in the Budget: “So. One down. Nine to go #PMQs”.

Rachel Reeves, the former shadow work and pensions secretary, said:

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