'Chancellor Darling missed the perfect opportunity to put some clear pink – if not red – water between Labour and the Tories at the forthcoming General Election', Robert Griffiths told the Communist Party political committee on Wednesday evening.
'His budget began from the false premise that Britain's public finance deficit is the fault of the public sector and that cutting public services is necessary in order to reduce it.
'Instead of hitting the banking, energy and retail monopolies with a windfall tax on their super-profits, he opted to attack public sector jobs and services', Mr Griffiths pointed out.
The CP general secretary highlighted the extra impact of cuts on women, who make up a higher proportion of public sector workers and of carers who rely on social services and benefits.
He also condemned the Chancellor's policy to continue with privatisation of the Channel Tunnel rail link and the 'clandestine' announcement in the Budget documentation that the national minimum wage would rise by only 13 pence an hour.
'That fiver a week will soon be swallowed up by household fuel bills, higher public transport fares or increased food prices', Mr Griffiths insisted.
'A budget which taxed the rich and big business to fund a massive programme of council house building would have given millions of working class electors a clearer alternative to the Tories and LibDems at the polls in May', he maintained.
Mr Griffiths also criticised Prime Minister Brown for 'playing the immigration card' in a major speech that same day.
'Immigrants did not cause this economic and financial crisis, nor mass unemployment. This is a dirty card game, in which the Prime Minister will be trumped by the racists and fascists', he argued.
Britain's Communists also decided to:
* Endorse their parliamentary candidates for the General Election: Steve Andrew (Sheffield SE), Rob Griffiths (Cardiff S & Penarth), Martin Levy (Newcastle E), Marc Livingstone (Glasgow NW), Gerry Sables (North Devon) and Ben Stevenson (Croydon N).
* Launch the party's General Election manifesto 'Britain for the People not the Bankers' following formal declaration of pollling day.
* Prepare a post-election campaign to 'Free Marwan Barghouti' and all political prisoners in Israeli gaols.
* Invite Communist and workers parties from Europe to a seminar in London on developments in the European Union.