George Osborne announces first all-Conservative budget since 1996
8 July 2015, Blog
Earlier today, George Osborne announced his seventh budget to a packed House of Commons, the first all-Conservative budget for nearly 20 years. “This is a budget that puts economic security first. It’s a budget that recognises the hard work and sacrifice of British people over the last five years….This is a budget for working people.” Mr Osborne started as he meant to go on, by driving home the fact that the Conservatives want to be the party of the working people. What working people think of his proposed welfare reforms will become apparent throughout this next Parliament.
Osborne stated that the deficit would be cut at the same pace as it was in the last Parliament. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the deficit will fall to 3.7% this year and will again fall to 0.4% in 2019/2020. He went onto say “Governments should run an overall, budget surplus so our country is better prepared for whatever storms lay ahead… In short, let’s always fix the roof when the sun is shining.”
Other particulars of the budget include the abolishment of the non-dom tax status for people who have lived in the UK for more than ten years (to come into effect in 2017); the funding of an overseas memorial to victims of terror attacks; road tax to directly fund improvements to the road network that taxpayers drive on; replacing student maintenance loans with loans for new students; powers to city mayors to set Sunday trading hours in their area; building more homes and creating a fairer property market; and a new obligation for young adults to “earn or learn” to name but a few.
Mr Osborne reiterated that it is important to maintain a strong capital city but have it supplemented by industry and devolution in the north. Concluding, not to miss a chance at a swipe at the opposition, he said “It was the Conservatives who introduced equal votes for women, and the right to buy. It is now fitting that the Tories will now transform welfare and introduce the national living wage. The party for the working people of Britain…One purpose, one policy, one nation.”
A strong and challenging set of proposals from the Chancellor was met with disapproval from Harriet Harman. When her chance came, she commented that his budget was “liberated from reality” and that working people were in fact worse off under the Tory budget plans.