Danny Alexander
Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander posed outside of the Treasury with a yellow boxGetty

Danny Alexander's so-called "yellow budget" was condemned as a "farce" and an "abuse of privilege" by Labour.

Chris Leslie, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, made the attack after Alexander gave his "fiscal responsibility and fairness statement" to the House of Commons, a speech billed as the Liberal Democrat's "alternative budget".

"What a farce. Why has the right honourable member for Inverness Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey been allowed to use the government dispatch box for his party political pleading this morning?" Leslie said.

"Is this a statement of the Treasury's policy or not? He said he was publishing fiscal plans today, where is that document? I thought statements in the House of Commons were supposed to be from ministers speaking collectively on behalf of the government.

"But he has totally abused that privilege, assembling MPs this morning on a false pretence. And I know it's usual to have several days of budget debates in the Commons, but not several budgets."

Alexander was met with a barrage of heckling from the opposition benches as he unveiled the government's new clampdown on tax evaders and avoiders.

The chief secretary to the Treasury revealed the government will introduce a new strict liability criminal offence to tackle tax evasion. In addition, the government will look into a new offence to stop people helping someone evade tax.

"By publishing a substantial package of next steps in the clampdown on these immoral and illegal practices," Alexander said. "We inherited form the previous government a tax system with more holes than a Swiss cheese and more complex than a Rubik's cube.

"The opportunities for those who wish to get away without paying were many and varied. For too long our tax system struggled with the fact that a small minority felt it perfectly OK to indulge in tax avoidance and commit the crime of tax evasion. The public will not tolerate being stolen from any more."

Alexander followed the speech by posing outside of the Treasury with a yellow case in the style of the chancellor's red box.

The photo opportunity came after George Osborne gave his final budget speech of this Parliament, with less than 50 days to go before the general election in May.