The Chancellor delivered his first budget, a month after taking over the reins with HM Treasury (HMT) and against a tough backdrop.
A budget for today
In the short term, the UK is standing on the cliff-edge of a national health crisis. Covid-19 is threatening both people’s health and wellbeing, but also the UK’s economic future. With parts of the country still reeling from the last financial crisis, the threat of another economic collapse needed an impressive economic response, which this budget delivered.
This included much welcomed support for people, to ensure they are financially able to act on medical advice and self-isolate, and for businesses, particularly smaller firms less able to bear the costs of a potential shut down. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of businesses in the country, and in some parts of the country, such as the South West, they account for 70% of private sector jobs.
Supporting these companies will be key to helping t