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Labour says Hunt budget unravelling amid criticism on pensions

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Rachel Reeves claimed that Jeremy Hunt’s budget was “unravelling before our eyes” as Labour criticised the chancellor for handing a tax cut to the wealthiest with his pension changes.In a 20-minute speech in the Commons, the shadow chancellor accused Hunt of offering “a huge handout to the richest 1% of pensions savers” while doing little to alleviate what is forecast to be the biggest living standards crunch since records began.Speaking during the second day of the budget debate, Reeves said the pension changes, which will eliminate the higher tax rate on pension savings for people who have saved more than £1m, were “the wrong priority, at the wrong time, for the wrong people”.“Yet again, working people and businesses, the key to our economic success, have been put at the bottom of the pile,” she said.

She promised that Labour would reverse the measure if it won the next election.While Reeves reserved her most vociferous criticism for the pension savings tax cut, she spent much of her time focusing on the Conservatives’ economic legacy after 13 years in government.“Is anything in Britain working better today than it did when the Conservatives came to office?

The answer … is a resounding no,” she said. “This is a government that is struggling to paper over the cracks after their 13 years of neglect and shoddy workmanship.”Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, defended the budget and specifically the pensions savings tax break, arguing that it was the quickest way to make sure doctors were incentivised to stay in their jobs rather than retiring early.“This policy will mean that thousands upon thousands of additional highly skilled people working in the National Health Service will stay in the National Health

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