Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said in response to the Budget:

“‘Opening Britain for business’ by stripping away the rights of working people, weakening health and safety rules and abandoning a commitment to equal rights will make Britain a worse place for millions of working people.

“It is the same deregulation promoted by the chancellor in this Budget, which fostered the reckless and greedy behaviour of the banks that caused the economic crisis in the first place.

“Ordinary families are buckling under the financial burden of a two-year pay freeze, removal of child tax credits, an increase in VAT, a rise in national insurance, cuts to child benefit, inflation running at five per cent, cuts to EMA and trebling tuition fees. Does anyone other than the chancellor think a penny off fuel will make a difference?”