Anti-cuts campaigners and trade unionists held a demonstration in Lincoln as the annual budget was announced in Parliament.
The demonstration was organised by Lincoln and District TUC and Lincoln Disabled People Against Cuts, and coincided with the 2014 budget announcement on March 19.
A group gathered from Speaker’s Corner on Lincoln High Street and Cornhill, calling on passers-by to consider an ‘alternative’ budget, secure jobs and ‘properly-funded’ services.
Lincoln and District TUC Secretary Nick Parker said: “George Obsborne is committed to austerity and every single budget or financial statement that he has made over the last four years has been basically in the interest of the super rich and not of the working-class people.
“This budget means more cuts to public services, more austerity and more cuts to disabled people and people on benefits.
“I think figures that employment is on the rise are sewed by the fact that a lot of people that have their benefits sanctioned are take out of the figures as well as people on workfare schemes and people who are on zero-hour contracts.”
Jane Hills from the Lincoln Disable People Against Cuts added: “There is a big misconception that the disabled are just scroungers. But it can happen to anybody.
“The disabled are vulnerable and they are being hit hard. My husband is disabled both physically and mentally now. He did have a benefit but that was cut last May and we have had nothing since. He can’t sit or stand easily and is a mess mentally. Who is going to employ him anyway?
Jane added: “A lot of the time disabled people are treated as thick. My husband has got a degree in physics he’s not thick. But they are easy targets for this government.
The annual budget, or financial statement, is made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the House of Commons, outlining the state of the economy and the Government’s proposals for changes to taxation.
The budget announced on March 19 was Chancellor George Osborne’s fifth and proposed schemes such as ‘help to buy’ equity loans, tax breaks for working parents and a tax freeze for green businesses.
Osborne announced that the amount people earn before tax will go up by £500 to £10,500, and the 40p tax threshold will also go up.
On the plans for a cap on welfare spending, he said: “Britain should always be proud of having a welfare system that helps those most in need.
“But never again should we allow its costs to spiral out of control and its incentives to become so distorted that it pays not to work.”