The chancellor was accused on Saturday of seeking to distract people from his bombshell admission that he would have to cut public spending further in the upcoming budget by publishing “estimated” savings for the middle classes from his stamp duty reforms.
The Treasury published a press release claiming that 780,000 homebuyers had saved an “estimated £657m” on stamp duty in the last year since George Osborne reduced stamp duty for 98% of people who pay it. The south-east was the biggest winner, with £234m saved by homebuyers.
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, attacked Osborne, who was in Shanghai for the G20 meeting of finance ministers, for attempting to distract from his recent warning that disappointing economic results meant he would need to cut public spending at the next budget further than planned. “He has sneaked off to China to admit what Labour have been saying for months … Far from paying our way, Osborne’s short-term economics means Britain is deeper and deeper in hock to the rest of the world.
“Labour and a growing coalition that now includes the OECD and the IMF are calling for an economy based on increased investment. “The truth is that the biggest risk to the British economy is George Osborne.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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