Labour’s Shadow Chancellor also claimed that changes to benefits due to come in next month will leave “11 million families worse off” as he warned the harshest cuts would fall on disabled people.
“We face in every public service a crisis on a scale we’ve never seen before,” he continued.
It came after Mr Hammond delivered his Spring Statement, providing an update on the nation’s finances. He revealed that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now expects state borrowing to be £45.2 billion this year – some £4.7 billion lower than predicted in November and £108 billion lower than in 2010.
Addressing MPs gathered in the Commons, Mr Hammond said “thanks to the hard work of the British public, there is still light at the end of the tunnel”.
And he rejected Labour “doom and gloom” over the state of the UK’s economy, saying the recession repeatedly forecast by Mr McDonnell had failed to materialise.
Mr McDonnell continued: “Hasn’t he listened to the doctors, the nurses, the teachers, the police officers, the carers and even his own councillors?
”They’re telling him they can’t wait for the next Budget. They’re telling him to act now. For eight years they’ve been ignored by this Government and today they’ve been ignored again.
“The Chancellor has proclaimed today that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. This shows how cut off from the real world he is.”