On the 3rd of March the Chancellor unveiled the 2021 Budget against the backdrop of the biggest health, social, and economic crisis faced by us as a country since the second world war.
The Government have stated that this Budget aims to lay the foundations of our future economy as we begin to recover from the fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic.
I will be making my own contribution to the Budget debate in Parliament on Tuesday 9th March where I will go into further detail about my own thoughts on this historic Budget.
In the immediate term - you can read a transcript of the Chancellor's Budget Statement and a copy of the full Budget document by going to the below links:
The Budget has three aims in the short, medium, and long term. In the short term it seeks to see us through the immediate Coronavirus Pandemic. In the medium term it aims to recover from the pandemic and ameliorate our public finances. Finally, in the long term, the Government have pledged this Budget will lay the foundations for our future economy.
While there are many welcome measures in this Budget, the challenges we face as a nation cannot be overstated.
The damage coronavirus has done to our economy has been severe and will be felt for many years to come. Sadly- since March 2020 over 700,000 people have lost their jobs while our economy has shrunk by 10% with borrowing at its highest level since world war two.
Many businesses have closed for good and the impact of the national lockdown on both our health and mental health services is still being discerned.
While it is good to see this Budget does contain measures which build on the Government’s ambition to level up the country and end regional disparity- it is also important we focus on age disparity around the gap in opportunity between the old and the young.
I welcome that the Government are not shying away from the fact that difficult decisions need to be taken and that we must face up to the challenges ahead.
We owe it to the next generation to ensure we fix our public finances and take decisive action to restore fiscal stability so we can move forward – through these difficult few years – together as a prosperous, outward looking, united country.