“A Budget for The Next Generation.” That’s how George Osborne described the raft of new measures he outlined today amid fresh warnings that the global economic storm clouds are gathering. It wasn’t the bland Budget many were anticipating, fuelling speculation that today was as much about beaming the Chancellor up to Number 10 as helping the British people to live long and prosper.
In a speech lasting over an hour, the Chancellor made some eye-catching announcements aimed at the voters of the future: a new “lifetime” ISA for the under-40s and a tax on sugary drinks to tackle child obesity, as well as changes to school funding and status. Tomorrow morning’s headlines will focus on these announcements, as well as the unexpected lifeline thrown to the North Sea by abolishing the petroleum tax.
Mr Osborne hoped that all this would help to distract from the less promising growth forecasts outlined at the beginning of his statement. As expected, the Chancellor blamed the OBR’s revised growth and debt statistics on treacherous global headwinds – another reason, he argued, to stick to the Government’s long-term economic plan.
So who were today’s big winners and losers? Edelman has produced a full briefing on the Chancellor’s Budget which you can find here.