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George Osborne's budget will be a cover up from start to finish says Ed Balls

There's one thing we can be certain of about George Osborne's Budget today: from start to finish, it will be a cover-up of his terrible record as Chancellor.

  • The Conservatives came into office saying they'd protect our NHS, make people better off and balance the books — but all three promises have been broken.

  • Our NHS is in crisis. Waiting lists have grown and it is getting harder to see a GP.

  • Tax and benefit changes since 2010 have left families on average £1,127 a year worse off — because this Chancellor gives with one hand while taking away much more with the other.

  • Wages after inflation are down by £1,600 a year since the last election...

  • ...And because people are earning less, tax revenues have fallen short — which is why George Osborne has broken his promise to balance the books by this year.

  • In short: The old Tory idea that simply cutting taxes for a few at the top means wealth will trickle down to everyone else hasn't worked.

And there's worse to come if the Tories win the election:

  • The Chancellor now says he wants to go far beyond balancing the books: he has a target of a £23 billion budget surplus in 2019/20 and £10 billion of unfunded tax promises, which mean...

  • The Tories are now planning even deeper spending cuts in the next four years than during the past five.

  • These cuts will devastate our public services: the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says the cuts will need to be "colossal" if George Osborne carries out his plans.

  • Our own analysis shows that the cuts to our police, armed forces and social care which these plans would require would be so deep that they would be close to impossible to achieve — even for this Chancellor.

  • That's why everyone knows the only way the Tories can make their sums add up is by breaking their promises again — raising VAT and putting our NHS at risk.

The Tories came into office promising to protect our National Health Service, make people better off and balance the books. But their plan hasn't worked.

We need a better plan that puts working families first and saves our NHS, and it will take a Labour Budget to deliver it.

We'll be talking about our plans throughout the campaign, but for today: let's not allow George Osborne to pull off a huge deception over the British public.

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