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UK: 'An awful budget, basically’ - Protesters denounce government's plan to hike taxes, cut spending03:35

UK: 'An awful budget, basically’ - Protesters denounce government's plan to hike taxes, cut spending

United Kingdom, London
November 18, 2022 at 00:51 GMT +00:00 · Published

Protesters gathered outside the UK Parliament in Westminster, as Conservative Chancellor Jeremy Hunt presented his Autumn Statement to MPs in the House of Commons on Thursday.

“We came here for the ultimate statement today and we wanted to hear what Jeremy Hunt was going to announce," said one protester, Louise Brown. "We kind of guessed it was not gonna be good. Hence our placard. It is an awful budget basically. “

Footage showed protesters holding placards, with police officers standing by.

“I think there is going to need to have an additional support on local authorities" said Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis, who was on his way in to hear Hunt.

The plan, an attempt to plug what the government says is a £55bn hole in the public finances, did include a rise in council taxes for local government, as well as other levies, increasing the total tax burden the highest since World War 2.

Spending on public services will also rise at a slower rate than previously promised, although there was help for those on benefits, and a windfall tax on oil giants.

"We should have consultation with the people, with the actual service users who use the services, not with the managers but with the real people on the ground," claimed another protester, David Palk.

They were joined by anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray, whose ongoing demonstrations have been a feature of the area over the last few years. He believed MPs were ignoring the obvious issue.

"They blame covid, the war in Ukraine, but they do not talk about Brexit ever. They are Brexit deniers," he said.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, which conducts its own independent analysis, did claim on Thursday that Brexit had a 'significant adverse impact' on UK trade.

The Autumn Statement came just months after former prime minister Liz Truss’s tax-cutting 'mini-budget', which spooked the markets, causing borrowing costs to soar - and ultimately resulted in the downfall of her administration.

UK: 'An awful budget, basically’ - Protesters denounce government's plan to hike taxes, cut spending03:35
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Protesters gathered outside the UK Parliament in Westminster, as Conservative Chancellor Jeremy Hunt presented his Autumn Statement to MPs in the House of Commons on Thursday.

“We came here for the ultimate statement today and we wanted to hear what Jeremy Hunt was going to announce," said one protester, Louise Brown. "We kind of guessed it was not gonna be good. Hence our placard. It is an awful budget basically. “

Footage showed protesters holding placards, with police officers standing by.

“I think there is going to need to have an additional support on local authorities" said Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis, who was on his way in to hear Hunt.

The plan, an attempt to plug what the government says is a £55bn hole in the public finances, did include a rise in council taxes for local government, as well as other levies, increasing the total tax burden the highest since World War 2.

Spending on public services will also rise at a slower rate than previously promised, although there was help for those on benefits, and a windfall tax on oil giants.

"We should have consultation with the people, with the actual service users who use the services, not with the managers but with the real people on the ground," claimed another protester, David Palk.

They were joined by anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray, whose ongoing demonstrations have been a feature of the area over the last few years. He believed MPs were ignoring the obvious issue.

"They blame covid, the war in Ukraine, but they do not talk about Brexit ever. They are Brexit deniers," he said.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, which conducts its own independent analysis, did claim on Thursday that Brexit had a 'significant adverse impact' on UK trade.

The Autumn Statement came just months after former prime minister Liz Truss’s tax-cutting 'mini-budget', which spooked the markets, causing borrowing costs to soar - and ultimately resulted in the downfall of her administration.