Ed Miliband has accused the government of running out of ideas on the economy and said Labour was the party to save the UK from a "lost decade".
According to the old adage, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. George Osborne sought to prove that you could in his fourth budget.
The chancellor has frozen fuel duty again, cancelling a 3p rise planned for September.
The chancellor dashed hopes in the renewable energy industry that it might figure in his talk of more public expenditure on big infrastructure projects.
George Osborne is facing growing calls to cut taxes on middle class incomes after drawing nearly a million extra people into the 40% tax band since becoming chancellor, with another 400,000 expected to join their ranks in the coming tax year.