By Amy Naughton-Rumbo
Unsurprisingly, spearheading criticism around the Budget is the Labour Party, whose press team was quick to claim “Philip Hammond and the Tories have no answers to the challenges facing our economy and sadly, its working people who will suffer.” Further criticism came at the mentions of both air quality and housing, which, according to Labour, the Government has failed on. Poverty and the NHS also featured highly in Labour’s list of criticisms during the Budget Announcement. In his response, Jeremy Corbyn echoed these criticisms, claiming the Budget comes from an “out-of-touch Government with no idea of the reality of people’s lives and no plan to improve them.” The Chancellor’s promises, he stated, fall short of what Labour would have allocated for social care and policing, whilst national living wage has again been revised down and funding for schools cut, much to Labour’s disappointment.
Green MP Caroline Lucas was particularly outspoken around the Announcement, making known her disapproval of Philip Hammond’s £3bn allocation for Brexit contingency plans and challenging the Government’s continued investment in public services. The Liberal Democrats, who have so far been a fraction as vocal on the Budget, are criticising the lack of budget to tackle the funding crisis in the NHS. The Federation of Small Businesses responded far more favourably to the Chancellor’s Announcement, applauding support for SMEs, changes to the business rates system and an extension to the national productivity fund. Businesses are anticipating a response by the Confederation of British Industry, who earlier today tweeted that the Budget “is an opportunity to back the basics of a strong market economy and show how good government, in partnership with responsible business, can improve lives, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit talks.”
Sky News, The Sun and HuffPost were quick to comment on several positive advancements made by the Chancellor, namely his commitment to tackle ocean plastic, his promise to keep fuel duties constant and the scrapping of stamp duty for first-time buyers. Whether all of Labour’s immediate criticisms hold true remains to be seen, but one thing we do agree with Mr Corbyn on is that we’ll be “keeping a good look out for the fine print” of this Autumn Budget.