photo credit: HM Treasury via photopin cc

Former Chancellor George Osborne has come under fire on Twitter after appearing to suggest that plunging more people into poverty was in the national interest.

David Cameron also joined in the gloating, eager to retweet Osborne’s insensitive tweet, claiming painful austerity “was the right thing to do”.

However, Twitter users were quick to remind the two about the tragic social cost of cuts to vital public services and social security benefits, including rising numbers of people turning to foodbanks and ‘unnecessary deaths’.

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “This is truly shameless opportunism by the former Chancellor who is trying to rewrite history and distract from his record of failure.

“He is also insulting the millions of people in our country who have suffered these last 8 years due to this Tory austerity agenda he and his party devised, which has pushed our public services into crisis and overseen plummeting living standards.

“There are people in our country right now struggling to feed their families, find a school for their children, keep a roof over their heads or heat their homes who will not welcome his egotistical boasting.

“People are suffering due to the Tory austerity cuts Osborne pushed through while at the same time handing out billions in tax giveaways that a rich few like himself can benefit from.

“The legacy of Osborne’s austerity is record numbers forced to rely on foodbanks, the highest number of children being taken into care since the 80s and real pay lower today than it was when the Tories came into office while wealth inequality has continued to rise.

“Let’s also not forget that when George Osborne entered Downing Street he promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 and failed to deliver on his central economic goal.

“Now his successor Philip Hammond still cannot achieve this yet continues with the same failed economic policy.”