Written by Luna Webster
You’ve probably seen a lot about “the budget” floating around in the media this week. Whether you noticed the kind of very disturbing images of George Osbourne on the front cover of The Sun and The Daily Mail, or picked up on the whole “penny off a pint thing”, chances are you’re aware that it happened.
Basically, the budget happens every year. The current government decides how much it’s going to put into public sector expenditure and various other economic and financial stuff that nobody really understands. The current Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers a speech in the House of Commons explaining all of this and it’s always guaranteed to cause some controversy.
So, what was this year’s budget all about besides getting a penny off your beer (big deal) and two pennies off your cider (slightly more interesting)?
Well, there’s a new “Help To Buy” ISA (Individual Savings Account) for first time home buyers, so you can worry a little less about adulthood if you want to own your own house. They’re considering giving students £25,000 loans if they study research based master’s degrees or PHDs. Mental health services are to receive £1.25 billion more in funding, there’s to be a new rail system connecting cities in the south of England (big surprise), the tax threshold is rising and certain widowed elderly people who remarry will be allowed to protect their pensions. It’s not all doom and gloom. Unfortunately though, the coalition is planning to make further cuts to public spending while they still can.
During his speech George Osbourne boasted about the improvements his government have made to living standards and to the economy. This has caused some backlash however as of course, last year saw a record number of people relying on food banks. As seen during last night’s Question Time a lot of people really aren’t feeling like things are getting better.
However as Baroness Williams pointed out in the episode, it can take some time to actually feel a recovery. For now, we can wait and see if the economy and employement genuinely is as promising as it’s being made out to be, and of course, use our votes in May to tell Westminster how we really feel.