UK Chancellor George Osborne and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls outline their messages on the Andrew Marr Show ahead of March's Budget.
Budget 2014: Labour Slams 24 Tory Tax Rises Under UK Chancellor George Osborne Reuters

Britain's opposition has slammed the Conservative party for 24 "tax rises" under chancellor George Osborne on the eve of his Budget 2014 announcement.

Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie, said voters and companies should not be hoodwinked over possible taxation changes when Osborne has pushed through a range of tax rises or income threshold amendments over the last four years.

"We need a Budget that tackles the cost-of-living crisis which has left working people £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories," said Leslie.

"Osborne wants to take credit for increasing the personal allowance, but hopes people forget his 24 Tory tax rises, including the VAT hike.

"While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, the truth is millions of hard-working people have seen their taxes go up.

"It's the same old Tory con – giving with one hand while taking away much more with the other. The VAT rise alone has cost families with children an average of £1,350 over the last three years. And the 24 Tory tax rises don't include the cuts to tax credits which have hit millions of working families."

The 24 "Tory tax rises" include the rise in the standard rate of VAT, which was temporarily reduced to 15% on 1 December 2008. It returned to 17.5% on 1 January 2010 and a year later rose to 20%

Average earnings in real terms are £1,600 a year lower today than in May 2010, claimed Labour.

When all tax changes are taken into account, Treasury figures show that taxes have already increased by £24bn so far this parliament, with another £3bn of tax rises to come in 2014-15.

"A Labour Budget this week would cut taxes for 24 million people on middle and lower incomes by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax," said Leslie.

"We'd get young people off benefits and into work with a compulsory jobs guarantee, freeze energy bills, expand free childcare, get more homes built and cut business rates for small firms. We'd also reverse the £3bn tax cut for the top one per cent of earners to get the deficit down in a fairer way."

Labour's analysis of figures from the IFS show that families with children are on average £891 worse off this year due to the tax and benefit changes introduced since 2010.