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Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s shadow Treasury minister, responding to Resolution Foundation research and commenting ahead of George Osborne’s speech, said:

“George Osborne needs to explain how it can be fair to give a £3 billion tax cut to the very richest, while millions of working families on middle and low incomes pay the price for his economic failure. For millions of working people any gain from the rise in the personal allowance is far outweighed by cuts to tax credits and child benefit and the VAT rise.

“While millionaires get an average £100,000 tax cut this week IFS figures show that the average family will be £891 worse off this year because of tax and benefit changes since 2010. And just looking at the new changes this week the poorest 10 per cent are losing £127 while the richest ten per cent gain ten times that - £1265. Labour would not be making these deeply unfair choices this week.

“The benefits bill is rising under this government because our economy is flatlining, prices are rising faster than wages and unemployment is high. And it is this government’s cuts to tax credits which have left thousands of working parents better off if they quit their job.

“The best way to get the benefits bill down is to get our economy growing strongly and get people back to work. Why won’t Ministers support Labour’s plan for a compulsory jobs guarantee for every young person out of work for a year or more and every adult unemployed for over two years?”


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