Commenting on the Budget, Liberal Democrat Economics Spokesperson Susan Kramer said:
“This is George Osborne’s sweet and sour budget. His sugar tax may seem sweet, but his hidden cuts are sour. This is not a long term economic plan, it is a short term economic scam.
“He has missed his targets and is making ordinary people pick up the pieces. Once again his words simply don’t match his actions.
“He said he wouldn’t fix the figures to fit the plan, but he has cut vital spending to fit his own arbitrary and unnecessary spending surplus.
“He said his budget would act now so we don’t pay later. But he has pencilled in £3.5 billion of cuts to vital services for future years, without the decency to say where it will come from.
“He said he would help young people, but he is passing huge additional spending on to schools meaning less money to spend on teachers.
“He is giving welcome help to small businesses, but lifting the money directly from the public services of the communities in which they trade. That’s not pro-growth, that is pro-decline.”
Hidden in the Chancellor’s Budget was a backdoor £2bn cut to public services. This cut has been attacked by Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson John Pugh.
Plans to reduce the public service pension scheme discount rate will raise the Treasury around £2bn from 2019/20.
But this means that public sector employers, such as the NHS, schools and local councils will have to make up the shortfall in pensions contributions – hitting their budgets.
Commenting, Education spokesperson John Pugh MP said: “Public services that we all rely on can only function if they are properly supported and funded. This Government has already failed to protect the schools budget, is stretching the NHS and has now burdened public sector employers with finding another £2bn for pension contributions.
“The Chancellor is choosing to pursue an overall budget surplus, even though it is not necessary and means more cuts. He says we can trust him with the economy, but he is risking the future of services we all rely on.”