Updated: Jul 27, 2020
If there’s one thing to note about this budget, it’s that the Government is promising to splash the cash. From an extra £6B for the NHS to a pledge to fix potholes, there were a lot of announcements today and we thought we'd examine the areas most likely to affect young people and that they should care about.
1. The Coronavirus
Of course, it was inevitable that one issue would eclipse everything else within the budget.
We now know how the government will tackle the impending crisis that the coronavirus poses, with the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlining a 3-point plan of 'temporary, timely and targeted' measures to help the NHS, businesses and individuals as the virus increases its grip across the nation.
-The NHS will be given ‘whatever it needs’
-Ensuring a safety net for those who fall ill
-Support for small-to-medium businesses
Sunak has overall promised £30bn for the economy to combat the effects of the virus. This includes statutory sick pay for all those who self-isolate for up to 14 days (even if they don’t display symptoms) and a £500m “hardship fund” for local authorities to help look after vulnerable people.
2. Addressing the Climate Emergency
If there’s one issue that has been championed by young people most of all, it’s that of solving the threats posed by climate change. The government today announced a number of policies to boost the ‘low-carbon infrastructure and jobs of the future.’ These included:
-A freeze on electricity tax and an increase on gas taxes from April 2022.
-A plastic packaging tax from April 2022.
-£1B for green transport solutions
-£640 million fund for protecting and expanding woodland + peat bogs.
3. Getting Rid of the Tampon Tax
After many years of tireless campaigning from women’s rights activists, the government is finally going to abolish VAT on women’s sanitary products.
Unfairly, this meant an extra 5% to their cost as they were treated as a “non-essential, luxury item”. This will finally be scrapped from January next year as the government previously suggested that EU rules prevented them from doing so earlier.
Rishi Sunak highlighted his priority in public services by also announcing more policies relating to education:
-Further education colleges will get £1.5bn in new investments in their buildings over 5 years.
-The so-called ‘Reading Tax’ on digital publications such as books, magazines and academic journals will be scrapped from December 2020.
5. The money isn’t only going to London
One of the constant criticisms levied at the government is that their attention is almost always focused on London & the South East.
This new government is keen to capitalise on their new-found support from northern constituencies by announcing a number of policies that appear to break the ‘Westminster bubble’, such as a new civil service hub in the north of England, as well as an additional £640m for Scotland, £360m for Wales, and £210m for Northern Ireland.
What did you think of this year’s budget? Do you agree with the policies? Are there things you think the government should be doing? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Demographica on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.