A financial pro has pulled apart the Tories’ ‘pantomime’ budget

Rishi Sunak has avoided talking about an issue with Universal Credit

A financial professional has already pulled apart the 2020 budget. But don’t worry. You don’t need to read a complex essay on just what Rishi Sunak‘s plans mean. Because this tax expert has done it all via Twitter.

Richard Murphy is a chartered account and commentator. In 2017, he came out in support of Jeremy Corbyn. His views on tax and finance are quite forward thinking. So with the chancellor delivering the budget on Wednesday 11 March, Murphy is one of the go-to people to debunk it. And pull it apart he did, showing that the reality of what the Tories are promising isn’t pretty.

Budget pledge one: small businesses

As the Guardian reported, Sunak announced a:

£1bn of lending via a government-backed loan scheme, with government backing 80% of losses on bank lending.

Sounds big, right? Not according to Murphy:

Also, the chancellor will:

abolish business rates altogether for this year for retailers, in a tax cut worth more than £1bn.

There’s that huge £1bn figure, but again:


Budget pledge two: tax and government finances

Apparently, Sunak and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) say that government debt is going to fall as a percentage of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2024/25. But Murphy thinks this is very unlikely:

Also, Sunak has raised the National Insurance threshold (the level at which people start paying it). But as Murphy pointed out, that will only save £104 a year for most people.

Budget pledge three: the environment

The chancellor announced a series of measures to do with the climate crisis, air pollution, and ecological breakdown. But were any of them worth the (hopefully recycled) paper Sunak wrote them on?

As Murphy noted:

He went on to note that:

Green measures are a shift of tax from electricity to gas and some measures on plastic. And that is literally it. Nothing else at all. What are [they] thinking about? This is staggeringly inept when #COP26 is coming. …

Oh, a little more green – but so little that just £1 billion is invested in green transport solutions – and most is plugs for Teslas that most people will never afford

And as Murphy neatly summed up regarding the chancellor’s pledge to build 4,000 miles of new roads:

I despair – £27 billion of tarmac – all to encourage even more use of carbon fuels – which is the last thing we need when public transport should be the focus now #budget2020 Surest sign that this government is living in the deep past. …

All the resources needed to create the Green New Deal have just gone into road building in the UK. This is really bad news for the future of our country and planet


Murphy was also scathing about the increase in the charge for people from overseas using the NHS. And also:

Overall, he was unimpressed to say the least with Sunak’s budget, stressing:

The more and more I am hearing from this Chancellor the more I realise he is living on a planet that isn’t the one the rest of us are going to suffer on as climate change really hits us

And Murphy summed it up best as he called the budget a “pantomime”. We’ll know more about just what the Tories’ announcement means in reality over the coming days. Because numbers will be crunched, policies costed, and probably cuts to public services exposed. But for now, Murphy’s assessment of the main points of Sunak’s budget paints a pretty dire picture.

Featured image via Guardian News – YouTube

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
      1. The Chancellor is going to Borrow to Invest in the UK? The Bank of England is Buying 435 Billion Pounds worth of US Treasury Bonds every Year. The UK is propping up American Debt and Borrowing to “Invest” in UK People?
        What a Wally. Who is Boris kidding. All this UK Arse Licking won`t matter to Trump when the Trade Deal is done.

    1. It’s about time they stopped talking about “consumer confidence” and just left it at business confidence. I’ve never once had to put something back on the shelf because I didn’t have the confidence to buy it, but I’ve had to put allsorts back because I didn’t have the money.

      Confidence may get businesses by but consumers need the cash.

    2. Quite apart from the content of the budget I was appalled at the presentation. Where is this fool think he was. I think the only thing missing was the Cheerleaders with their short skirts and pompoms doing a rah rah. The budget is a serious matter and someone needs to tell that to the fool and teach him how to behave. Oh wait he’s a groveller to Johnson (that’s being ladylike)

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.