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In his first budget, the Chancellor announced help for parents but nothing for low and middle earners.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt talked a lot about what the government has achieved while they’ve been in power. He also glossed over the decisions he had to make back in the Autumn when he was faced with the fallout out from Kwasi Kwarteng’s take on the economy. Rather he focused on the Prime Minister’s five point plan.
As usual, many of the key announcements had already been leaked but unusually he didn’t hold anything back to announce on the day. There were no nice surprises, nothing to sweeten the fact that as much as help with energy costs is much needed and very welcome, there was nothing for the hard workers who keep the economy going.
“I liked the way Jeremy Hunt described the scrapping of the lifetime pension allowance as helping get doctors back into the NHS. Well yes, it helps them but it’s also going to be great for City types and, frankly, anyone earning a good whack. It’s a move to help rich people, and there are no guarantees that retired surgeons will rush back to work because of it.
“Frankly, it would help more if the personal tax allowances were unfrozen and kept in line with pay increases. That would help the lower and middle earners as well who have not been particularly helped with this Budget. If you have children of school age then you will be feeling a bit happier about life, particularly if you drive to work, but those who are working all the hours and struggling to get by won’t have found any solace in Hunt’s announcements.”
So yes, the increase in support for parents in terms of massive increases in childcare allowances and the short term continued help with energy costs are both really good for families. But, living standards continue to fall and in real terms this budget is for the rich.
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