From the Olympic medallist to the union chief, verdicts on the Chancellor's big day

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Indy Politics

Caroline Lucas, Green Member of the European Parliament

"I was very disappointed. Given that we're facing a climate catastrophe, it felt like he was trying to put out a forest fire with a bucket of water. It felt utterly inadequate for the job. Clearly he's trying to dress up his budget with more green trimmings than usual."

Derek Simpson, General secretary of Amicus

"A million well-paid skilled jobs have been sacrificed on the altar of flexibility since 1997. The Chancellor's suggestion that he intends to go further will not be well received in industrial areas of the country. We would have welcomed action to protect industry from energy price increases."

Lord Robert Winston

"I really welcome the Chancellor's focus on education of children. I do hope the teaching will be devoted to the times when we tend to lose our young people from science - at about the age of 11. But recognising that science teaching needs special attention is most welcome."

Professor Ian Fells, Energy consultant

"It is disappointing that Mr Brown will onlychange the climate change levy in line with inflation. It hit small industry hard while larger industry got off lightly. Even worse, it is levied on carbon-free nuclear and hydroelectric power. But I welcome the £1bn forenergy and environment research."

Marcel D'Argy Smith, Writer and broadcaster

Gordon Brown did not sound tired at all - he is like someone who has run the marathon several times. I do not know why the 7 July memorial fund has been included in the Budget. I think the Government just feel guilty because they started the war. It is cynical to announce it in the Budget."

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Head of the Muslim Council

"We welcome the duty on cigarettes and alcohol. The damage caused to individuals and families is immense, and the drain on NHS resources amounts to billions of pounds each year. The resources on emergency wards are stretched at weekends due to alcohol abuse."

Dave Prentis, General secretary of Unison

Denounced the prediction that public sector pay increases would be held to 2.25 per cent this year: "Any attempt to push down public sector pay awards outside the NHS would be counter-productive and risk undermining government targets and improvements to public services."

Georgie Harland, Olympic bronze medallist in modern pentathlon

"News that the Government has come up with funding for the 2012 Olympics is fantastic. It had to happen for success in 2012and this is the beginning. We can be uncompromising in terms of training camps and preparation with the latest technology."

Tony Juniper, Executive director, Friends of the Earth

"I was pleasantly surprised. Mr Brown has been quiet on green issues since he became Chancellor, and a lot of us have worried about the role he might play on climate change if he becomes PM. Things appear to be changing. There was more than we hoped for."

Robert Beardsmore, General Secretary, United Kingdom Vineyards Association

"The freezing of duty for English and Welsh sparkling wine is great. We are obviously a small industry but a growing one. To get a mention in the Chancellor's speech was fantastic. We are glad the gap between duty on sparking wine and still wine is slowly closing."

Steve Sinnott, General secretary of the National Union of Teachers

"Gordon is to be congratulated for announcing an education budget. By targeting high class sizes and the invidious gap between state and private school spending he has shown he understands the needs of school communities. It is exactly the kind of vision we want."

Kate Green, Chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group

"The Chancellor's focus on children and his recognition that the Government must get back on track towards meeting its child poverty target is to be welcomed. But if the target to halve child poverty by 2010 is to be met, much further investment will be needed."

Dr Beverly Malone, General secretary of the Royal College of Nursing

"Nurses are deeply concerned about the financial crisis facing the NHS. Nursing posts are under threat as deficits take hold, yet the Chancellor failed to offer any reassurance to nurses. The speech did nothing to suggest a continued focus on investment."

Sir Digby Jones, CBI director-general

"The Chancellor slapped himself on the back but did little to help hard-pressed businesses. Steps to reduce red tape, expand R&D tax credits and boost trade and investment have our support. But business will be disappointed the opportunity to improve UK competitiveness has been lost."

Mervyn Kohler, Head of public affairs, Help the Aged

"It is a disgrace the Chancellor served up no extra help for pensioners. Our country's older people are battered by fuel price rises and growing bills for council tax and water but the Government, which found a pre-election bribe for older pensioners last year, cannot renew it for 2006."

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty

"We have no fundamental objection to the proposal for a new department for homeland security, with its own budget. But the Government must remember there is a danger that, unlike real security measures, such as policing and intelligence, tough talk and even tougher legislation is dirt cheap."

Professor Colin Blakemore, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council

"The establishment of a single, jointly-held health research fund will hugely facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical benefits for people in the UK and around the world. Britain now has the opportunity to create a mechanism ... unrivalled anywhere."

Ruth Lea, Director, Centre for Policy Studies

"This was a classic Brown performance - very confident and clearly with eye on moving next door. However, the pain is yet to come. The really difficult decisions lie over the horizon, not least public spending between 2008 and 2010 which we will have to wait until next summer for."

* Treasury Budget site

* Chancellor's Statement in full

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