By Simone Barton
With the increasing cases of the coronavirus in the UK today seems to be the perfect day for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce his 2020 budget, due to the fear surrounding the potential strain on the NHS, as well as whether businesses will be able to manage. The proposed investments have faced some backlash from opposing parties, especially when it comes to environmental policies.
Here are some of the key points from today’s announcement:
- An ’emergency package’ of £30bn has been promised due to the coronavirus outbreak. This includes finances for welfare and support for businesses, and sick-pay charges, with £7bn to be for businesses and families and £5bn for the NHS.
- The chancellor has said that he will increase taxes on pollution and raise funding for green transport to £1bn.
- An additional £1.5bn funding for further education.
- Sunak also announce the Grenfell building safety fund which is a total of £1bn that will go to removing unsafe cladding from buildings.
- Finally, he also says there will be an increased funding of £6bn to the NHS during this parliament, which will go towards the campaign claims of 50,000 more nurses and 40 new hospitals.
There has been some criticism of the new budget with ex-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, heading straight to Twitter to say “Any hint of climate credibility [is] undermined by £27bn on new major road schemes that will trash countryside, increase traffic & exacerbate #ClimateEmergency”.
And Jeremy Corbyn tweeting “Austerity failed. #Budget2020 nowhere near reverses the damage”. Corbyn also called out the Tory’s claim that this budget was the biggest investment since the 1950s, by correcting that it was in fact the biggest since the previous Tory cuts in the 2010s.