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Chancellor will defend Budget as 'one that puts next generation first'

George Osborne was criticised for not responding to an emergency question on his Budget in parliament. Credit: PA

George Osborne is due to defend his Budget, following the government u-turn on welfare cuts, saying it delivers on "social justice and economic security".

The Chancellor came under fire for not appearing in the Commons on Monday to defend his eighth Budget branded an "ultra-shambles" amid repeated calls for his resignation.

But David Cameron defended his Chancellor and said he would be "winding up the Budget debate" on Tuesday insisting that the Conservatives run a "modern, compassionate, one nation" government.

Ahead of a vote to pass the Budget on Tuesday, Osborne is set to echo the the Prime Minister's comments by describing it as one "of a compassionate, one nation Conservative government determined to deliver both social justice and economic security."

"It's a Budget that puts the next generation first," he will say.

He will add that his Budget will lift 1.3 million of the lowest earners out of income tax and deliver improvements to schools whilst supporting businesses, creating jobs and boosting social mobility.

An acrimonious debate on the Budget was sparked by the shock resignation of Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: PA

Osborne is also expected to express his sorrow over the resignation of former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who stepped down over "deeply unfair" welfare cuts.

"I’m sorry Iain Duncan Smith chose to leave the Government last week, and want to recognise his achievements in helping to make sure work pays, breaking the old cycles of welfare dependency and ensuring the most vulnerable in our society are protected. That’s work this Government will go on doing," he will say.

On Monday, David Cameron said that Duncan Smith had "much to be proud of in helping the government to reform welfare benefits".

  • Here is his statement in full:

As Conservatives, we know that those who suffer most when Britain loses control of its public finances and the economy crashes aren’t the best off but the poorest and the most vulnerable.

That’s what’s informed all we have done over the last six years and was at the heart of the manifesto we were elected to deliver.

I’m sorry Iain Duncan Smith chose to leave the Government last week, and want to recognise his achievements in helping to make sure work pays, breaking the old cycles of welfare dependency and ensuring the most vulnerable in our society are protected.

That’s work this Government will go on doing.

We've listened to concerns and, as we made clear last week, we won’t proceed with changes to the personal independence payment.

But this Budget will lift 1.3 million of the lowest paid out of income tax, it will deliver improvements to our schools, help the least well-off to save, and support business and enterprise to create jobs and boost social mobility.

It also charts a course through the global economic uncertainty to ensure that Britain pays its way in the world.

We were elected by the British people a year ago on a Manifesto that committed to economic security, controlling public spending and lower taxes for working people and business, precisely because we know that is how we deliver more opportunity in our society. That is is the commitment we are delivering in this Budget.

It is a Budget of a compassionate, one nation Conservative government determined to deliver both social justice and economic security. It's a Budget that puts the next generation first.

– Chancellor George Osborne
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the budget should be withdrawn and Osborne should 'start again'. Credit: PA

The Chancellor was accused of being "too scared" to face an emergency question by Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell on Monday after it was answered by David Gauke, the financial secretary to the Treasury.

McDonnell expressed sympathy for Mr Gauke who he said had been left by the chancellor to "defend the indefensible" and called on the Chancellor to withdraw the Budget and "start again".

Jeremy Corbyn lambasted the government's Budget, saying it had "fallen apart" within days of its announcement and suggesting the chancellor should resign as a result.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron lamented "the failure of the chancellor to be here to answer for himself".

But a spokeswoman for David Cameron said that the Chancellor "absolutely" has the full confidence of the Prime Minister.

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