Today’s news summary – Paper Talk
Thursday’s front pages report on Jeremy Hunt’s first Budget as chancellor. The papers offer up their reaction – and depending on which paper you’re reading, you get a different verdict on whether the Budget is successful.
Reaction to the Spring Budget 2023 – ‘tax breaks for rich’
The Financial Times characterised it as “defiantly upbeat” and focused on tax breaks for businesses, offering a tax bonanza for high-earning pension savers.
The Daily Express described Mr Hunt as “resolute” and promising a brighter future for Britain, particularly in terms of childcare expansion to encourage parents back to work.
The Daily Mirror criticised the Budget as being only beneficial for the rich, with no relief for public sector workers in need of a pay rise. The Guardian highlighted the Budget’s significant pension giveaway to the wealthiest 1%, although living standards are projected to fall significantly. In the paper’s analysis, Larry Elliot says that despite the chancellor’s “bullish performance”, living standards are on course for their biggest two-year fall since the 1950s.
The Times pointed out that the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that threshold freezes for income tax and national insurance will effectively increase the basic rate of income tax by 4p by 2027. The Mail praised Mr Hunt’s performance but urged him to reduce the tax burden quickly, and The Sun celebrated the Budget’s freeze on fuel duty.