Chancellor: no tax hikes or extra spending cuts

CHANCELLOR George Osborne yesterday indicated he would not put up taxes or make further spending cuts in the Budget on Wednesday.

He said that last year’s Budget had been a “rescue mission” that had taken the country out of the “fiscal danger zone”.

Osborne added: “But now we’ve got to move from rescue to recovery and reform... I don’t have to come back and ask for more this year. So I can say in the Budget later this week, I’m not going to be asking for more tax increases or more spending cuts.”

The chancellor batted away suggestions from the Labour party that he should cut spending less quickly in the face of lower growth forecasts, insisting it would be a “huge mistake” to halt the deficit reduction programme.

But shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused Osborne of being a “brash and cocky gambler” who was making decisions that were good for “short-term politics” but bad for long-term growth.