Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has responded to emerging revelations of dishonesty in the Pre-Budget Report.
He said that Chancellor Alistair Darling’s interview on the Today programme confirmed that "he’s not willing to be straight with the British people, doesn’t know his figures and can’t deliver the economic leadership Britain needs".
Specifically, he criticised three aspects to the Chancellors remarks:
- Saying that he’d told Ed Balls what the schools budget would be, but not telling the rest of us.
- Denying child and disability benefits would be cut after the election – in contrast to his own Green Book.
- Claiming other departmental budgets would be flat when his own figures show that he means to slash them.
Hammond said that instead of using the PBR as an opportunity "to address the big issues facing Britain and set out a credible plan to get the deficit down", Darling had focussed on "cynical electioneering and Labour’s short-term interest".
"The British people will see through this dishonesty", he added.