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2016 Autumn Statement: the political reaction

23 Nov 2016

Responding to the Statement that was heralded as a 'mini-Budget', leaders of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have commented on a handful of significant changes made by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was the first to respond to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement announcements.

Commenting on figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), Mr McDonnell stated: ‘The figures speak for themselves. Growth down, wage growth down, business investment down, and their own deficit target failed.’

He continued: ‘And now we face Brexit, the greatest economic challenge, and we face it unprepared and unequipped.’

Meanwhile, Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, stated: ‘The official figures have revealed a £220 billion Brexit black hole – hundreds of billions taken out of our economy when we need it most.

‘Given how bad the outlook is, it’s no wonder the Chancellor doesn’t want to have to do another Autumn Statement.’

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, accused the government of having ‘deeply skewered priorities’, saying: ‘At a time of uncertainty, they are continuing with plans to give a tax cut to corporations and the highest earners – while our NHS is strapped for cash and local services are under immense strain.’

She continued: ‘We could save billions by scrapping the plans to cut corporate tax and raising the threshold for the highest earners – and we could plough that money into our ailing NHS – but the government has refused to change course.’