Labour’s Chuka Umunna blasted George Osborne’s budget claims branding his economic legacy as one where ‘people don’t feel better off’.
The Streatham MP appeared on BBC’s Question Time last night and countered Mr Osborne’s claims that people were £900 better off than in 2010.
The last Budget before the general election offered a help-to-buy ISA for first-time home buyers and raised the single person’s tax-free allowance to £10,800 from April 2016.
Mr Umunna said: “At the time of the General Election, even if you take George Osborne’s measure, people will not be better off compared to 2010.
“Here in London people on average are earning £3,200 less now than they were in 2010 which is the biggest fall of any region.
“Work is more insecure, you’ve got 1.8 million zero-hour contracts.
“We’ve just seen a rise of people of people working part-time who want to work full-time and we’ve got almost five million people in our country not earning a wage that they can live off.
“That’s why people don’t feel better off.”
First-time buyers saving £200 a month in the help-to-buy ISA would receive a £50 boost from the government of up to £3,000.
Green Party candidate Jonathan Bartley dismissed the plan as a ‘gesture which will do nothing to tackle the underlying causes of the housing crisis’.
Mr Bartley told SW Londoner: “While George Osborne was delivering his budget, I was at the Spires Centre in Streatham which helps hundreds of people who are suffering as a result of the Governments ongoing programme of austerity.
“This Budget did nothing for them – in fact it painted a picture of a very bleak future, with more cuts to the services they rely on.
“This was a Budget that favoured the rich while continuing cuts for those who can least afford them.”
The Institute of Fiscal Studies questioned Mr Osborne’s plans to cut £12 billion from welfare spending by the next parliament.
Streatham’s Conservative candidate, Kim Caddy, pointed to a 47 % local decrease in Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants since 2010.
“The measures in this Budget will ensure our economic recovery continues,” Mrs Caddy told SW Londoner.
“In Streatham, many people say they are starting to feel the benefits of the growing economy but clearly there is still a job to do to secure Britain’s future.
“The best way to improve people’s living standards is to build a stronger, healthier economy which is exactly what the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan sets out to do.”
South West Londoner approached Liberal Democrat’s Amna Ahmad for a comment.
Picture courtesy of The CBI, with thanks