Sunak’s previous Budget occurred just before the coronavirus pandemic took over the world and forced the UK into a nationwide lockdown. Covid-19 has, in turn, made this one of the most anticipated budget announcements in recent history with many eager to see how the government would help those most affected by the virus and help the economy grow again.
Sunak had released an almost movie-like trailer for the budget which didn’t quite have the desired effect, as critics called the video ‘smug’ and ‘self-indulgent’ and there might be another one on the way.
Also in the build-up, MPs , including Labour’s Bridget Philipson, called on Sunak to strengthen “Britain’s economic foundations” and focus on “jobs, growth, and protecting family finances.”
The shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds also highlighted how much the government had spent on their highly criticised test and trace system as well as other methods to try and combat Covid-19.
The Larry the Ca parody account didn’t appear too confident about the money, but others were more optimistic.
This strange staircase photo also raised a few eyebrows.
When it came time for Sunak to actually reveal what the Budget had in store for the next 12 months in the UK there were a few points of note. The furlough scheme and support for the self-employed will be extended until the end of September, extra-funding for those in need as well as culture, the arts and sports, the universal credit £20 uplift will be extended, a one-off payment of £500 for Working Tax credit recipients, stamp duty holiday extended and a rise in corporation tax to name just a few things.
Perhaps the biggest announcement was that UK GDP will have returned to its pre-Covid rate by mid-2022, which is six months earlier than predicted.
Most people felt that this was mostly good news but couldn’t help making jokes.
Given the circumstances and surroundings, it was an unusual announcement.
Maybe the Guardian’s John Harris echoed most people’s thoughts.
Still, at least it was better than that Coca-Cola video...