POLITICS
18/03/2015 10:47 GMT | Updated 18/03/2015 13:59 GMT

Budget 2015: George Osborne Throws Kitchen Sink At Ed Miliband With Pre-Election Budget Jokes

PA/PA Wire
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Budget statement to the House of Commons, London.

George Osborne used his last Budget of the parliament as a platform to target Ed Miliband personally, including jokes about the Labour leader's kitchens, brother and mother.

Central to the Conservative re-election campaign is an assessment of Miliband's unpopularity with voters. With that in mind, the chancellor decided to step-up the attacks.

In his response to the Budget, Miliband noted the personal attacks on him from Osborne. "Let me just tell him, we are not going to take lessons on fairness from the trust fund chancellor and the Bullingdon Club prime minister," he said.

Announcing further investment in technology, Osborne mentioned the Internet of Things. Explaining the idea, he said: "Should, to use a completely ridiculous example, someone have two kitchens, they'll be able to control two fridges from the same mobile phone." The joke followed at least three gags from David Cameron during prime minister's question time about Miliband's kitchens.

Last year the chancellor used an announcement of funding to celebrate the anniversary of the Magna Carta to poke fun at Miliband for beating his brother David in the Labour leadership contest. This year he made a similar joke via the battle of Agincourt.

"We could not let the 600th anniversary of Agincourt pass without commemoration," he said. "Now the Battle of Agincourt is of course celebrated by Shakespeare as a victory secured by a band of brothers, which is sadly not an opine available to the party opposite." He added: "But it is, Mr Deputy Speaker, of course when a strong leader defeated an ill-judged alliance between the champion of a united Europe and a renegade force of Scottish nationalists".

The joke did not go down well the shadow cabinet minister Angela Eagle, who tweeted: "The chancellor just spent £1 million on a naff contrived 'joke'."

Osborne used the Budget to announce a review of deeds of variation - a method of changing a will after someone has died. Amid a row over tax avoidance, the Conservative Party deflected attention by accusing Ed Miliband of avoiding tax by benefiting from a deed of variation to his father will made by his mother. The Labour leader has denied he benefited and accused Cameron of trying to "smear mud".

Today, Osborne said to Tory laughter: "I can also tell the House that we will conduct a review on the avoidance of inheritance tax through the use of deeds of variation. It will report by the autumn." He added: "We look to forward to drawing on the views of the leader of the Opposition."

Miliband, responding to the Budget speech, said there had never been such a large gap between the Chancellor's rhetoric and the reality of people's lives.

He condemned Osborne for failing to mention investment in the NHS or public services. He told MPs: "This is a Budget people won't believe from a government that is not on their side - because of their record, because of their instinct, because of their plans for the future."

Budget 2015: The Main Points

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