UK

BBC Question Time: Audience Member Casts Judgement On Tory Budget Priorities

An incredibly awkward juxtaposition.

17/03/2016 23:34 GMT | Updated 17/03/2016 23:39 GMT

George Osborne's Budget failed to garner vocal support from the BBC 'Question Time' audience on Thursday, as one attendee declared she felt as though the Tories "appreciate Google more than the NHS".

Speaking from the audience, the woman highlighted the apparent juxtaposition of Osborne's pledge to reduce corporation tax with the plight of a cash-strapped NHS.

She said: "It's sort of like saying you appreciate Google more than you appreciate the NHS."

BBC
The woman made the startling comment during Thursday's Question Time

Beginning her comments to the panel, the woman said: "You said you'd ring-fenced the healthcare, but it doesn't need ring-fencing, it needs more money."

She continued: "By cutting disability benefit, by cutting social services, all that is doing is bringing the NHS down to its knees.

"The NHS won't be around for another couple of years if you continue to do this."

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
George Osborne delivered his sixth Budget on Wednesday

Osborne was accused of slashing welfare to fund tax breaks for the rich after it emerged that nearly a third of all his Budget cuts will come from disability benefits.

Corporation tax is expected to be reduced from its current rate of 20 per cent to 17 per cent from April 2020, saving UK businesses almost £15billion a year by 2020.

The disability cuts, first unveiled by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, will axe £590m in 2017/18 – the same year that the wealthy will gain £630m in capital gains tax relief.

Osborne had described a recent agreement between Google and HMRC as a "major success", despite intense criticism at the size of the internet firm's final tax bill.

 

PA/PA Wire
George Osborne delivers his Budget statement to the Commons

Osborne did not use his latest Budget to pledge additional cash for the NHS.

A previous announcement pledged a further £3.8bn for the NHS this year

At the time, health service bosses said a significant budget increase was needed to stave off problems serving increased demand.

BBC
BBC Question Time broadcast from Chelmsford, Essex

Thursday's Question Time came from Chelmsford, Essex. 

It's panel included the Conservative Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry, and the SNP's Trade Spokesperson Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

Alongside Ukip's leader in the European Parliament Roger Helmer MEP and director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Mark Littlewood. 

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