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UK budget 2014

Analysis and Comment (20)

Some pensioners forgot to save for a rainy day. Some pensioners forgot to save for a rainy day. PA

Pension shake-up will leave some high and dry without proper guidance

The recent budget announcement providing freedom for retirees to decide how to allocate their own pension pots was a bold and surprising move. However, a number of issues are clearly opened by this policy…
My mum could use that extra cash. My mum could use that extra cash. Peter Macdiarmid/PA

New childcare accounts help those who already afford quality

The coalition has placed a series of new plans on the table with regard to childcare and early years education. Most eye-catching is the new “tax-free childcare” scheme: from September 2015, for every…
Osborne’s vision doesn’t extend this far. Osborne’s vision doesn’t extend this far. Tom White/PA

The real issues still fester for the north of England

The north of England, along with the central belt of Scotland, created the world we live in today. But the fundamental problems the region now faces stem from the very industrial revolution that shaped…
New Balls please. New Balls please. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Ed Balls budget reply: no car crash but hardly vintage stuff

The political stock of Ed Balls has been on the rise recently. His ratings have improved in recent weeks. As part of Ed Miliband’s effort to have a more civilised discussion at Prime Minister’s Questions…
The UK’s coal revival is set to continue. The UK’s coal revival is set to continue. Gareth Watson

Budget 2014: short-term gains for business, bad news for the environment

The big energy policy headline in the budget was well trailed. As expected, the level of the UK’s carbon tax on electricity generation will be frozen from 2016/17 until the end of this decade. Conceived…
Much to ponder for Osborne’s favourite voters. Much to ponder for Osborne’s favourite voters. Robert Sharp

Budget 2014: there could be a sting in the tail for savers and pensioners

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, “pulled a rabbit out of the hat” for pensioners and savers with changes to UK pensions that have been hailed as the most significant overhaul to the system…
This man came into school today and kept going on about hard work. This man came into school today and kept going on about hard work. Oli Scarff/PA

Osborne set to leave an awkward debt parcel for his successor

George Osborne’s impromptu child-minding of shadow chancellor Ed Balls during pre-budget interviews summed up his task in the last full year before the election as effectively as Wednesday’s budget speech…
Sorry George, we’ll need more help than that. Sorry George, we’ll need more help than that. Rui Vieira/PA

Budget 2014: measures are an inadequate fix for British manufacturing

The current vogue for heralding the recovery of the British manufacturing should not lead us to complacency about the very real difficulties currently faced by the sector. George Osborne’s budget offered…
Deficit forecasts? They went that-away! Deficit forecasts? They went that-away! PA Wire

Budget 2014: Miliband whips up an ‘Eton mess’ attack

Ed Miliband’s response to George Osborne’s Budget statement got off to a good start with a quip about the chancellor’s announcement, flagged in this morning’s press, that a new £1 coin would be introduced…
Green shoots? Green shoots? Dominic Lipinski/PA

Budget 2014: experts respond

Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled his fourth budget. The blueprint for recovery includes wholesale changes to pensions and savings, attempts to boost business investment, new relief for the costs…
Young left out of the recovery. Young left out of the recovery. Andy Rain/EPA

Hard Evidence: are young people’s job prospects improving?

Recessions always hit young people hard. Firms’ first response to declining orders is to stop hiring new recruits rather than sacking experienced staff. Young people disproportionately rely on new hiring…
Finance is fragile. Finance is fragile. Images_of_Money

Recovery is futile if it’s led by the finance sector

The politics of recession and recovery dominate discussions about the British economy. Every new set of figures published or set-piece moment like the budget sparks another debate on whether the UK has…
Mental block: Osborne has conflicting motives over housing. Mental block: Osborne has conflicting motives over housing. κύριαsity

Budget 2014: will Osborne cool or fuel the housing market?

Britain is home to an increasingly dysfunctional housing market. The risk is that a chancellor trying to lay the foundations for a 2015 election victory will struggle to find the balance between the short…
Osborne in the spotlight - what’s in the red box? Osborne in the spotlight - what’s in the red box? Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Budget 2014: how good politics can trump good economics

The days leading up the budget are hectic as many in the Treasury are busy devising financial gimmicks to please the electorate. This forthcoming budget is particularly important as next year’s budget…