George Osborne’s budget schedule delayed until Autumn Statement
Plans to fill a £4.4bn black hole in George Osborne‘s budget will not be revealed until the end of the year, it has emerged.
Osborne had hoped that a reduction to Personal Independence Payments to disabled people would save the Treasury £4.4bn by 2020, but he has since had to abandon the plan after pressure forced several Conservative MPs to indicate they would rebel.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Ian Duncan Smith resigned over the matter.
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Osborne declined to appear for an emergency question from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell today, but Financial Secretary to Treasury David Gauke said the Government will set out its plans in the Autumn Statement.
Spending on disability benefits has increased by £3bn in real terms under this government, he said.
“There is no question of the government taking disability benefits down to the level they were in 2010,” he said.
McDonnell called for Osborne to withdraw the budget and start again.
“Within 5 days an enormous hole has appeared in the budget,” he said, adding Osborne’s absence “insults this House”.
SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie called for a “corrective budget” to be scheduled for the summer.
“We are witnessing another Osborne budget unravelling and yet all we are getting today from the government is a quick statement and that is not good enough.
“Such is the mess in the Treasury’s plans and the civil war within the Tory party that the government needs to be looking seriously at a corrective budget to sort out this shambles,” he said.
The Commons is due to vote on the finance bill which accompanies the Budget on Tuesday evening.