Rishi Sunak received a “hospital pass” when he was appointed Chancellor and was required to deliver the first Budget in nearly 18 months within a month of his appointment. He announced extra spending on roads, rail, broadband and other infrastructure projects as well as extra money for the NHS to help cope with the coronavirus epidemic. But what we were waiting to hear was where the extra money was going to come from? Had he found a “magic money tree”, or would tax and borrowing have to increase?
The Office of Budget Responsibility had already downgraded growth forecasts for the UK economy to just 1.1% before the global coronavirus pandemic, which may temporarily plunge the UK into recession.
The Chancellor announced a number of measures that will hopefully protect businesses until the economy recovers.