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Autumn Statement: Political reaction

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has responded to the changes announced within Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement speech.

Commenting on the deficit level, McDonnell stated: ‘We were promised that by today the deficit would be eliminated and debts would be under control and falling dramatically.’

He continued: ‘After five years the deficit has not been eliminated and this year it’s predicted to be over £70 billion.’

Responding to economic plans announced within the Statement, McDonnell said: ‘The long-term economic plan is in chaos. Everything Osborne is doing is to dig himself out of a hole. The cuts are hurting people badly across every service area from health to policing. The public’s health and security won’t be safe. The failure to invest puts the future at risk’.

Following the recent tax credits defeat in the House of Lords, Scottish National Party (SNP) treasury spokesman Stuart Hosie stated that the Chancellor’s ‘complete and humiliating U-turn on tax credit cuts shows that we were right to keep the pressure up to the last minute’ for these cuts to be abandoned.