Emergency Budget: What the papers say

flagged up differing opinions in the investment industry over the potential
effect of spending cuts and tax rises.

Legal & General’s Jonathan Cooke said the fiscal tightening might “kill
the patient before it recovers”. BofA Merrill Lynch’s John Wraith said that if
the growth and borrowing forecasts were accurate then the UK’s triple A rating
was “cast iron”.

headline was: “Osborne unveils axe-and-tax pact”, referring to the “harshest
Budget of a generation”.

In its leader column, The Times wrote of restoring “clarity and
sanity to Britain’s finances”.

“There was no flicker of the ideological fervour for cuts of which Labour has
been warning; only a sense of regret and realism, coupled with an apparent
desire to tell the bad news straight, rather than hiding it in footnotes,” it
However the paper suggests that the forecast of unemployment peaking this year
seems “optimistic”.

included details of Labour’s claims that Lib Dem
leader and deputy PM Nick Clegg had turned into a Tory “patsy”. He defended
himself by stating that he had agreed with Osborne over dinner a month ago that
the consolidation should represent a planned for a five-year parliament, with
the bulk of the details spelled out now.

Its editorial column stated that Osborne had taken two enormous wagers, but
had pulled off two tactical victories.

If the economy collapses under the strain, and the Lib Dems ditch the Tories,
we will have another recession. But he has achieved bringing the Lib Dems into
dipping their hands “in the blood of the cuts to come” The public has also
accepted that public sector downsizing is needed.

The editorial described the cuts as “unnecessary both in their timing and
their size”. It flags up the lack of a plan B, and of “years of hostility”
ahead between the government and public sector workers.

editorial the Budget as a “breath of fresh air”,
and congratulated the government for “biting the bullet” on VAT.

It said that Osborne had given the private sector room to breathe, and “step
into the breach” left by the public sector’s enforced retreat.

Further reading:

tax cut to 24% opens up UK to overseas probes

fear Budget anti-avoidance plans

CGT hike fails to deter avoidance opportunities

Related reading

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