Budget 2016: Watch the one moment Jeremy Corbyn made the Tory front bench squirm in response to Osborne

Mr Corbyn raised the issue of cuts to benefits for disabled people that will see some claimants lose £30 per week

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Wednesday 16 March 2016 15:58
Corbyn asks about disability ESA cuts

Jeremy Corbyn struggled to land many punches in his response to George Osborne's Budget, and was even forced to welcome the introduction of a sugar tax which it appears he was himself preparing to call for.

The Labour leader was handed the toughest task in politics, responding outside his area of expertise to a very lengthy fiscal document with almost no advance warning.

Many of Mr Corbyn's pre-prepared claims were met with laughter from the Conservative front benches - at times it seemed some of the points he raised had already been answered in the Budget itself.

George Osborne didn't know where to look when Jeremy Corbyn brought up his cuts to disability benefits

Yet there was one moment in his rebuttal when Mr Corbyn left all of David Cameron, Theresa May and Mr Osborne himself completely ashen-faced.

Mr Corbyn raised the issue of cuts to benefits for disabled people that will see some claimants lose £30 per week.

The cuts have proved highly controversial, and Green MP Caroline Lucas accused the Chancellor of "breathtaking hypocrisy" when he described the Budget as supporting "those who need it most".

After criticising the state of the NHS under the Tories, Mr Corbyn said Mr osborne had "also cut public health budgets, mental health budgets and adult social care".

He said: "Earlier this month the government pushed through a £30-per-week cut to disabled ESA claimants.

"Last week we learned that half a million people will lose up to £150 per week due to cuts in personal independence payments

"I simply ask the chancellor this: If he can finance the giveaways he has put in his budget to different sectors, why can't he fund the need for dignity for disabled people in this country?"

On an otherwise comfortable day for the Chancellor, it was the moment when he and the Tory leadership looked most uncomfortable.

Mr Corbyn did not press the point, however, instead moving on immediately to discuss police cuts.

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