Budget 2016: John McDonnell says George Osborne should withdraw his Budget as Prime Minister David Cameron stands by the chancellor

 
James Nickerson
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McDonnell said the Budget process is in chaos (Source: Getty)

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has warned that the Budget process is in "absolute chaos" as the government has withdrawn a large part of the Budget and accepted two opposition amendments before the end of the third day of the budget debate.

Speaking in the House of Commons, McDonnell asked if the chancellor would make a statement on changes to the Budget, and said "the chancellor insults this House by his refusal to attend".

Given the issues around disability benefits in particular, wouldn't it be "the prudent thing for the chancellor to withdraw this Budget and start again. This is no way to deliver a Budget and no way to manage an economy", McDonnell said.

But David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury, responded that the economy is growing faster than other advanced economies.

Gauke added that the chancellor would be responding tomorrow, before the House votes on the Budget on Wednesday.

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"It’s unacceptable to the country and insulting to parliament that the chancellor is not turning up to respond to my urgent question on the chaos of his making around a Budget he delivered only last week which had collapsed by Friday night," McDonnell said before the question.

The developments come after now ex-work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith quit his role over what he labelled a "deeply unfair" Budget due to its cuts to disability benefits.

And last week it was reported that the government could face a Tory backbench rebellion on the measure.

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The culmination of events has led to the widely expected climb down on the cuts, which is anticipated to be announced by new work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron said that his government will give the highest priority to improving the life chances of those who live in the UK.

Speaking to the Commons, Cameron said that "everyone in Britain should have the chance to make the most of their lives", adding "we can only improve life chances if our economy is secure and strong".

"Securing our economy, extending opportunity, we will approach with this approach in full because we are a modern, compassionate, one-nation Conservative government," Cameron said.

The statements come as the government gets slammed from all sides of the House of Commons, while the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that poorer working-age households, especially those with children, will be “hit hard” by the government’s tax and benefits changes while pensioners will be protected.

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