Osborne will 'take election results on the chin'
George Osborne has said the Government has understood the message from the local elections, and pledged to “take it on the chin”.
However the Chancellor insisted the country was behind the Government’s austerity drive, and said there is “a national consensus around the deficit reduction plan”.
Before his comments to the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Osborne accepted some responsibility for the Conservatives’ big losses in the elections after widespread criticism of his Budget. He said: "The way the Budget was presented meant that this message wasn’t heard."
Business Secretary Vince Cable argued that focusing on how poor the communication had been risked "missing the main point" of a "very positive" and impressive budget.
"In sort of apologising, as it were, for the communications, we’re sort of missing the main point - that the real substance of the budget was absolutely right and very positive, and that the big story of the budget was that hundreds of thousands of people have been lifted out of tax."
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told the Sunday Politics that communication had not been the problem with the Budget.
"The country agrees we need a plan to get the deficit down. I agree with that and we all agree with that. If George Osborne thinks that’s a vote of confidence in him, he’s making a big mistake because the country also knows his plan has failed and the public are now saying ‘where’s the jobs? Where’s the growth?’
“You can’t blame the eurozone for a recession made in Downing Street. But it’s not about communication. George Osborne can’t get out of this with spin doctors. It was judgement – his plan’s failed and it’s also been proved to be unfair as well as bad for jobs and growth.”