'Is That It?': Jeremy Hunt Delivers Dull Budget Full Of Stuff We Already Knew

Even Tory MPs were bored.
Jeremy Hunt with the red box containing his Budget speech on the steps of 11 Downing Streetl
Jeremy Hunt with the red box containing his Budget speech on the steps of 11 Downing Streetl
Anadolu via Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt delivered a deadly dull Budget full of things we already knew as even Tory MPs declared it a dud.

The chancellor spent more than an hour boring the country as he simply confirmed what had already been trailed in advance by the Treasury.

As expected, he announced that he was cutting 2p off national insurance for the second time in four months.

The windfall tax on the profits of North Sea oil and gas companies is being extended by a year - teeing up a major rebellion by Scottish Tory MPs.

Hunt also confirmed that he is stealing one of Labour’s flagship policies by scrapping the so-called “non-dom” tax status enjoyed by wealthy foreigners living in the UK. The move will raise an extra £1.5 billion for the government.

Fuel duty is also being frozen for another year, as is alcohol duty - another two announcements which were known well in advance.

The one new announcement is a shake-up of child benefit rules to make it fairer and less confusing.

At the moment, parents no longer receive the payout if one of them earns more than £50,000, but it is paid to couples who both earn £49,000.

The threshold will be increased to £60,000 ahead of a full-scale shake-up of how the system works by April 2026.

The chancellor declared that it was “a Budget for long-term growth”.

He said: “It delivers more investment, more jobs, better public services and lower taxes.

“But dynamism in an economy doesn’t come from ministers in Whitehall. It comes from the grit and determination of people who take risks, work hard and innovate. Not government policies but people power. It is to unleash that people power that we have today put this country back on the path to lower taxes.

“A plan to grow the economy versus no plan. A plan for better public services versus no plan. A plan to make work pay versus no plan. Growth up, jobs up and taxes down.”

But as he droned on, one Tory MP in the Commons chamber told HuffPost UK: “This is the worst delivery of a Budget I can remember. He’s lost the room.”

The social media verdict was equally damning, with X users united in their condemnation of Hunt’s big speech.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “This is a bottom-of-the-barrel Budget from a Conservative government that has given up on governing.

“Rishi’s recession is being followed by Hunt’s hangover, with years of unfair tax hikes while local health services are stretched to breaking point.

“This Budget had nothing to offer for people seeing their mortgage soar due to Conservative chaos or being left waiting for months in pain for NHS treatment.

“The public will see this for what is: a desperate last throw of the dice by a Conservative government that has neglected the NHS, trashed the economy and overseen a record fall in living standards.”


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