The 2009 Budget announced a further £9bn on public service cuts, on top of the £5bn announced in the Pre-Budget Report. The Chancellor also announced £16bn of "asset sales", which will include the privatisation of Royal Mail and the Royal Mint. This is a total of £30bn of public service cuts and privatisation.
John McDonnell MP, LEAP Chair, said:
"Buried in this Budget is a programme of public expenditure cuts and privatisations never seen before in the history of this country. It means the Government is pressing ahead with the sale of Royal Mail in the face of massive public opposition. This programme of cuts and privatisation will be made worse when the Chancellor's unsustainable growth predictions are exposed.
"Cutting and privatising jobs in the public sector will simply put more people on the dole, and runs counter to the Government's overall approach of stimulating the economy."
Andrew Fisher, LEAP co-ordinator, said:
"By pushing ahead with the privatisation of Royal Mail and the Royal Mint, Darling is putting ideology before evidence. Thatcher sold off the family silver, now Brown is selling off the family gold.
"As public businesses both Royal Mail and Royal Mint are net contributors to the public purse - and with an ever-widening deficit, the Chancellor is wrong to sell-off a valuable source of public income. Darling is slaughtering the goose that laid the golden eggs."