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'Budget will hit ordinary people'

PUBLISHED: 18:14 23 June 2010 | UPDATED: 10:59 12 August 2010

THE chancellor was accused of hitting ordinary people the hardest after freezing public sector workers pay and telling them to expect job losses. George Osborne s emergency measures set out in his budget on Tuesday were criticised by some who accused

THE chancellor was accused of "hitting ordinary people the hardest" after freezing public sector workers' pay and telling them to expect job losses.

George Osborne's emergency measures set out in his budget on Tuesday were criticised by some who accused him of targeting the country's poorest people.

As well as the effective pay cut for public sector workers, he also froze child benefit for three years, placed caps on housing benefit and said proposals to increase the state pension age to 66 would be sped up.

Hitting out at the proposals, Bromley Labour council leader, John Getgood, said: "This is a budget that will hit ordinary people the hardest and will not lead to economic recovery.

"It isn't a fair budget, the best way to get out is to increase growth. It is an excuse for the Tories to do what they do what they have always done and cut services that the poorest people rely on.

"In the past we have supported the idea of a freeze on council tax but services have got to be provided.

"The neediest people will suffer in our society. We certainly do not support the rise in VAT to 20 per cent, it's another example of things being given with one hand and then taken away with the other.

"The Conservatives promised not to do it, they shouldn't have done it, as the election is over they do what they want."

However there was no increase on fuel, alcohol and cigarettes and plans to increase duties on cider by 10 per cent above inflation were scrapped, to take effect at end of month.

Defending the cuts, Mr Osborne said: "We need to restrain public sector pay in these difficult times. And we need to do something about the spiralling costs of public sector pensions.

"Many millions of people in the private sector have in the last couple of years seen their pay frozen, their hours reduced and their pension benefits restricted.

"They have accepted this because they knew that the alternative in many cases was further job losses.

"The public sector was insulated from these pressures but now faces a similar trade off."

What Do You Think? E-mail - ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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