Budget 1) Osborne’s big gamble

Osborne-Headshot3‘George Osborne wooed Middle Britain with tax cuts and a big boost for savers yesterday but admitted the UK’s finances had plunged deeper into the red. In a high-stakes Budget, he also slapped a surprise sugar tax of 8p on a can of fizzy drink and made incendiary remarks on the perils of Britain leaving the EU. The Chancellor was forced to concede that previously rosy forecasts on growth, productivity, taxes and debt had all been blown dramatically off course – leaving the nation £55billion worse off.’ – Daily Mail

  • Small businesses celebrate business rate changes – The Times (£)
  • Crackdown on overseas online retailers – FT
  • And on corporate tax avoidance – The Sun (£)
  • The Chancellor admits storm clouds are gathering – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory disability campaigner quits over welfare cuts – Daily Mail
  • McDonnell: Labour won’t support any savings this Parliament – The Times (£)



>Today: ToryDiary: Less a Budget for renewal than a Budget for the referendum


Budget 2) Montgomerie: Small state enthusiasts should welcome the sugar tax

‘Many libertarians hate this government-knows-best tendency. They want the state to be small and humble about intervening in the boardroom, bedroom and kitchen…the new sugar tax is seen by anti-state fundamentalists as further proof of unwelcome nannying. They could hardly be more wrong. Sensible politicians will always aim to prevent rather than cure. Reductions in the demand for government intervention are much more likely to reduce the size of the state than cutbacks in the supply of services that citizens have come to rely on.’ – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

  • Jamie Oliver just happens to be instantly available to welcome the policy on TV – Daily Mail
  • Control freakery which will punish the poor – Alex Deane, Daily Telegraph
  • Our readers will be hit hardest – The Sun (£)
  • Shares in soft drinks firms fall – Daily Mail
  • Beer and petrol are frozen, while wine and cigarettes rise – The Sun (£)
  • North Sea Oil expected to post losses – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Dia Chakravarty on Comment: This sugar tax will taste sour to poorer people

>Yesterday: Andrew Gimson’s Budget sketch: Osborne sounded as boastful as Lawson in his pomp

Budget 3) Lifetime ISA offers savings boost for under-40s

MANIFESTO Savings‘Millions of under-40s will get a 25 per cent Government top-up from next year — on money they put into a new Lifetime Isa. Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the plan yesterday as part of his “Budget that puts the next generation first”. The new individual savings accounts are designed to encourage young people to save up for a house or prepare for retirement. Savers aged between 18 and 40 will get £1 from the Government for each £4 they put in to the Lifetime Isa before they turn 50.’ – The Sun (£)

Budget 4) Eurosceptics and feminists team up to mount Tampon Tax challenge

‘George Osborne is facing a potential rebellion over the “tampon tax” next week, from an alliance of feminists and campaigners for Britain to leave the European Union. Labour backbencher Paula Sherriff, who has waged a campaign against the 5% VAT charged on sanitary products, has laid an amendment to the budget resolution enacting the chancellor’s tax plans. If implemented, it would allow MPs to strike down the tampon tax when the finance bill is debated later this month. Sherriff has won the support of Eurosceptic Conservative backbenchers, who resent the fact that Brussels rules prevent Britain from altering the scope of VAT. Conservative Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU after the referendum on 23 June, said: “The people we elect should be responsible for setting the taxes in this country – not unelected EU judges and bureaucrats.”‘ – The Guardian

  • The Chancellor is accused of politicising the OBR by claiming it opposes Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Does the OBR really think that? – Daily Telegraph
  • It’s ‘complete b*ll*cks’, Jackson mouths to journalists – Daily Mail
  • Osborne provoked backbenchers on the EU, so sought to smooth feathers elsewhere – Janan Ganesh, FT
  • Murdoch is yet to decide which way The Sun will go in the referendum – The Guardian
  • Gormley complains about Vote Leave image being projected onto Angel of the North – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Your at-a-glance guide to the Budget’s economic and fiscal forecasts

The Government is expected to keep missing its net migration target

Border‘The Tories will fail to cut net migration to their target of ‘tens of thousands’ – even under the most generous forecasts, according to the budget watchdog. In its assessment of George Osborne’s Budget decisions today, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published different scenarios on future immigration figures and under each it finds that David Cameron’s pledge to cut net migration to under 100,000 will not be met before 2020. Last year 323,000 more people came to the UK than left despite the Tory election manifesto repeating the pledge it made in 2010 to reduce net migration to ‘tens of thousands’.’ – Daily Mail

  • Up to 450,000 new migrants could attempt to travel to Europe from Libya  – Daily Mail
  • Merkel under pressure over Turkey deal – The Times (£)
  • This proposal on migration is fraught with dangers – David Owen, Daily Telegraph
  • Almost ten per cent of UK births are to EU migrants – The Times (£)

Rudd discusses taking on green subsidies – and wanting an EU energy union

‘She hasn’t brought down any of Britain’s 5,215 onshore wind turbines. But she has been busy pruning back the green subsidies that her department had become used to doling out. She is driven, she says, by anger at the green racket — or, as she puts it, ‘people making huge returns on bill-payers’ money’…Her brother Roland, one of the best-connected men in public relations, is a leading figure in the ‘in’ campaign. Rudd herself would like to see the EU doing more, not less, in her ministerial area, arguing passionately for an EU energy union.’ – The Spectator

Gove launches ‘reform prisons’ inspired by academy schools

Prison bars‘A new network of jails modelled on academy schools will form the centrepiece of government plans to overhaul the prison system, the justice secretary announced yesterday. Michael Gove’s proposals for so-called reform prisons will be included in the Queen’s Speech. They will enable failing jails to be taken over and run by governors of more successful establishments. Strong governors would have a degree of autonomy over their budgets.’ – The Times (£)

  • £500m more for schools to improve standards – FT
  • The academy model has risks – FT Leader
  • Pupils to study maths until 18 – Daily Telegraph
  • Railway stations could be sold to private investors – FT

Welsh Assembly rejects ban on vaping

‘The National Assembly’s last full session before the election in May ended in acrimony with the defeat of the Labour government’s bid to introduce a partial ban on e-cigarettes in public places following a “jokey” comment made by a Minister. This unexpected decision means there will be no legal ban on “vaping” in Wales. Plaid Cymru, which had originally given its AMs a free vote on the Public Health (Wales) Bill, opted to vote against the partial ban after Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews called those of its AMs prepared to vote with the government “a cheap date”.’ – WalesOnline

Jewish Labour Movement warns anti-semitism in the Party is getting worse

Labour-Party-Red-Rose-logo‘Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has got worse since Jeremy Corbyn took power, the chairman of the party’s Jewish movement has warned. Jeremy Newmark, from the Jewish Labour Movement, which has been affiliated to the party for almost 100 years, attacked the Labour leader for being “impotent” in his failure to tackle a resurgence of anti-Semitic views. It came after Vicki Kirby, the vice chair of the Labour’s Woking branch who tweeted Jews have “big noses” and “slaughter the oppressed”, was suspended from the party this week after MPs attacked the leadership’s lack of action.’ – Daily Telegraph

Lords clash with the Government over trade union donations

‘Controversial plans to slash Labour’s reliance on trade union funding were ripped up by peers last night. The House of Lords put itself on a collision course with the Government after it wrecked the main intention of the Trade Union bill. Ministers said they wanted to use the legislation to make the contentious ‘political levy’ that provides millions of pounds for the Labour party more transparent.’ – Daily Mail

Trump predicts ‘riots’ if he doesn’t win

TRUMP hair‘The Republican elite face a difficult and chaotic summer, with Donald Trump dominating the presidential primaries and the nomination battle likely to rage on all the way to the party’s national convention in July. The billionaire warned yesterday that there would be “riots” if party leaders were to try to deny him the nomination in spite of his obvious popularity. “I wouldn’t lead it but I think bad things would happen,” he said. The threat came after a turbulent day of voting, with Mr Trump crushing Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, forcing the Hispanic senator out of the race.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Daniel Hannan’s column: Trump’s rise is harming the Republican Party, America and democracy itself

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