Conservative leader David Cameron has accused Darling of u-turns, hypocrisy
and stealing Tory policies.
He described the stamp duty change as the ‘centerpiece’ of the Budget, but
argued that Labour had stolen it from an old Conservative policy, and then
mocked it as having already been ‘torpedoed’ by a government minister.
Other policies were also cited as u-turns. Cameron said the cider rates
increases (up by 10% above inflation) had previously been labelled as ‘illegal’,
and that the 100,000 increase in university places had previously been labelled
‘elitist’. “Once again they are caught taking the public for fools,” he said.
Cameron compared the economy unfavorably with its figures from 1997,
including on areas such as tax and regulation, and competitiveness. “We’ve gone
from the top of the Premier League to bottom of the Conference in 13 years. It
is time to sack the manager.”
He added that the debt-reduction program (to half it in four years) was
inadequate. “Action is required now. The risk to recovery is in not dealing with
the recovery now.”
He also said that the Budget was predicated on unrealistic growth figures,
arguing that misleading figures for 2008 and 2009 gave the public little reason
to trust recent growth projections. “We need a proper independent body of budget
responsibilities,” said Cameron, claiming the Tories would introduce this.
Cameron said Labour had doubled the national debt, and on the Budget’s
figures would double it again. “They just carry on spending, carry on borrowing
and carrying failing.”
He also criticised the policies on education and mortgage support, claiming
that the mortgage support scheme had only helped 15 households, equating to a
cost of £66,000 per household helped.
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