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Budget 2015: East Ham MP Stephen Timms slams George Osborne's deficit reduction

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:00 19 March 2015

MP Stephen Timms.

MP Stephen Timms.

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East Ham MP Stephen Timms has blasted George Osborne for the r the national budget deficit.

The Chancellor told parliament in his Budget speech yesterday that the deficit as a proportion of national income is down by more than a half, compared to five years ago.

But Mr Timms, Labour shadow minister for employment, believes the Tories had precious little to celebrate.

“The backdrop to the budget is that the government is failing to deliver results,” he told the Recorder.

“In 2010 they said they would eliminate the deficit within five years. Today they congratulated themselves for halving it in five years, which is exactly what [former Labour chancellor] Alisdair Darling said he’d do.

“At the time David Cameron said that was woefully inadequate.”

Mr Osborne minister outlined a range of measures including a new help-to-buy ISA for first-time home-buyers, a penny off a pint of beer in duty and the introduction of a personal saving allowance.

The Chancellor also explained plans to save £30bn by slashing spending on welfare and individual government departments and cracking down on tax evasion.

“It does look as though they are preparing some really severe cuts to funding for public services,” Mr Timms added.

“They want to take as much away in the next three years as they have in the last five.

A planned fuel duty increase for September was scrapped while annual paper tax return was fully abolished, in favour of digital alternatives.

And although Mr Osborne told parliament that living standards have risen over the past five years, the Labour MP believes the borough needs a change.

“The budget showed the people of East Ham that they need a change of government,” he said. “A great number of my constituents want a change – they say they want a party that will represent everyone.”

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