We thought we would round up opinion of today’s budget. From the Chancellor himself to the leader of the opposition, business leaders to the trade unions, who said what?
We’d also love to hear what you think about today’s Budget, please leave your comment at the bottom of the article.
|George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer: This is a Budget that doesn’t duck our nation’s problems. It confronts them head on. It is a Budget for an aspiration nation. It is a Budget for a Britain that wants to be prosperous, solvent and free.|
|Ed Milliband, Labour Leader: He’s the wrong man, [George Osborne] in the wrong place at the worst possible time for the country.……This is a downgraded Budget from a downgraded Chancellor.
|Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor: This Budget shows the government’s economic plan is not working…Mr Osborne should have announced that he wasn’t going ahead with the top-rate tax cut.
|Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor: There are two really important tax cuts delivered in the Budget – one is the cut of up to £2,000 National Insurance for every business, which the chancellor hopes will allow them to hire more people. Second, the personal tax cuts – fuel, alcohol and personal tax allowance – and finally a boost to housing.Via Twitter Help to Buy” is a deliberate echo of Thatcher’s “Right to Buy” = biggest effort so far to help for those buying new houses|
|Lionel Barber, FT Editor, Via Twitter: #Budget2013 FT leader writers verdict: it’s a Daily Mail – not an FT budget. Osborne targets Pebble Dash Man, on fuel, beer, home ownership|
|Laura Kuenssberg, ITV, Via Twitter @ITVLauraK: Infrastructure money, childcare support and corporation tax, all 2015…those clamouring for action now won’t be happy|
|Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary: This is a Budget for the few by the few that attacks the many. Millionaires are days away from getting a £40,000 tax cut from the Tories, but George Osborne is using the budget to attack hard-working public sector workers. The worst chancellor in British history has gone further by giving big business another tax cut while staff caring for the sick get pay cuts. This Chancellor’s idea of aspiration is a warped one. Nurses, police and public servants take a pay hit, while corporations and millionaires are allowed to duck their tax duties to the nation.Borrowing is up, growth is halved again and the Chancellor is missing his debt targets. His litany of failures has left Britain hamstrung and there are no measures in the budget to give the economy the major boost it needs now. He is lining up the nation for further gloom and cuts in June through the spending review. His government means more misery for the majority.The heralded £10,000 tax threshold offers little hope other than an extra pound or two in low waged workers’ pockets, while again helping the higher-waged.If he really wanted to show he was on the side of the worse off, who aspire to get through the week, he should have raised the national minimum wage by £1 and drop the senseless plan to give millionaires a tax break in a few days’ time.|
|Brian Clark, Tax Partner, PwC: The Chancellor gets marks for sticking to his plans, emphasising Britain is open for business by cutting the corporation tax rate, and simplifying the system too. There was actually very little unexpected, but the tone was upbeat. Having set low expectations, this Budget should help build business confidence even though, on the whole, it was fairly ‘steady as she goes’. There were various measures for small business, with the new employment allowance likely to make the biggest difference. However, relief for entrepreneurs and employee incentivisation is relatively small.|
|John, Longworth, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce: We are at an unprecedented moment in economic history, and the Government should be doing everything in its power to get the economy moving.|
|John Cridland, CBI Director General: The employers’ organisation, the CBI, is pleased with the Budget, in particular the news for the housing industry. “This was recognition it was a mistake to cut capital spending so sharply and that other growth-boosting measures were taking too long. But by shifting £6bn to housing and infrastructure, the government has sowed the seeds for growth and jobs.|
|Joanne Segars, chief executive of National Association of Pension Funds: We strongly welcome proposals for a new, single tier state pension. But the Government has to ensure that the changes are implemented in a way that does not damage company pension schemes. This is a very tight timeframe and we question whether it can be delivered. Schemes need flexibility and time to adapt.If the Government gets it wrong then it risks sparking a fresh round of final salary pension closures in the private sector. Businesses that get caught on the wrong side of these changes will lose a significant rebate from the end of contracting out, and this extra cost may prompt them to close their pensions altogether.We have waited many years for these reforms. An overhaul of the state pension is long overdue and a simpler, fairer system helps set a clear foundation on which people can build their own savings. It would be a shame if mistakes were made in a rush to implement the changes.|
|Institute of Directors: We applaud this budget. The Chancellor has stuck to his guns and held his nerve – which is exactly what we wanted to see. Deficit reduction is not an optional policy, it is an absolute necessity, and he is right to reject the siren calls to abandon it.Businesses will be glad that George Osborne has also continued the downward pressure on Corporation Tax. Britain must become the most competitive place to do business, and lower taxes will attract welcome investment from abroad.|
|John Walker, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses: The housing initiative will help reinvigorate the construction sector in which many of our members operate.National Insurance cut goes beyond what we were asking for and we are pleased to see the scrapping of the 3p fuel duty due in September.|