Budget LIVE 2020

Budget LIVE 2020

Published by George Sharpe at 9:58am 11th March 2020. (Updated at 4:17pm 11th March 2020)

Live updates on Chancellor's budget announcements, as it happens.

Announcements from Westminster


Jeremy Corbyn says that today's budget won't reverse the damage done by the Tories over the last ten years:

"We're going in to this crisis with our public services on their knees. And as today's figures confirm, with a fundamentally weak economy which is now flat lining  with zero growth even before the impact of Corona Virus.

"Today's budget was billed as a turning point, a chance to deliver, in particular on the promises made to the working class communities made during the general election.

"But it doesn't come close, the government's boast of the biggest investments since the 1950's, is frankly a slate of hand, it's in fact their only biggest since their slash and burn assault on our services, economic infrastructure and living standards in 2010."


The Chancellor promises to provide every region in the country with

  • Funding for specialists 16-19 maths schools.
  • £25,000 for secondary schools to invest in arts activities.
  • £30 million a year to improve PE teaching.
  • £8 million for the football foundation scheme to build new pitches for around 300,000 people to play on.

Chancellor takes his seat as he finishes his statement.



"We will rise to this moment, we will get through this together."


£6bn new funding to support the NHS announced.

Sunak claims that will enable funding for 50,000 more nurses, 50million more GP appointments and 40 more hospitals.


Sunak: "There is no more cherished pbulic service than our NHS."

To reflect this, the corporation tax rate will not be cut this year. It will  Also announced that immigration health surcharge will increase to £624 with discounted rate for children.

Further tax measures announced to clamp down on tax avoidance - including further funding for HMRC. 


HOUSING: £650m of funding to help build 6,000 new homes and get rough sleepers off the streets.



the government are promising to invest five billion pounds to get 5G capable broadband in the hardest to reach places.

Ten million pounds to invest into the shared rural phone network meaning in the next five years 4G coverage will reach 95% of our country.


So-called 'reading tax' abolished - from 1st December books, newspapers, journals and newspapers in 'all their forms, however they are read' will be tax free - including digital formats.

"Our greatest responsibility is the education of our young people."



Promises to complete work to the A303, something which Sunak claim governments have been campaigning to finish since the 1980's.


120 million pounds will be available immediately to damages made around the UK in the winter floods.

Repeated damaged areas will receive 200 million pounds of funding to local communities to build flooding resilience.


Increase taxes on pollution as electricity is now a cleaner form of energy than gas.

From April 2022 freezing the levy on electricity and raising it on gas.

To tackle plastic waste the government will introduce a new plastic packaging tax.

From April 2022 the government will charge manufacturers 200 pounds per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% of recycled plastic.


Business rates for small businesses will be DROPPED for this year according to Sunak. 

"Our manifesto promised that for shops, cinema's restaurants and music venues with a rateable value of less that £51,000... we would increase their business rates retail discount to 50%.

"Today I can go further and take the exceptional step for this coming year of abolishing their business rates altogether."


Chancellor promises to address other concerns, as well as coronavirus as estimates that up to a fifth of the workforce could be off at any one time. 


Rishi Sunak says the government is doing everything they can to keep people healthy and financially secure - calling on support from every party in the house to put aside party politics and act in the national interest.

He said: "We have done so before, and I know we will do so again."


Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has opened his first Budget announcement stating: 

"I want to get straight to the issue most on everyone's mind: coronavirus - COVID-19

"I know how worried people are - worried about their health, the health of their loved ones, their jobs, their income, their businesses, their financial security.

"People want to know what is happening and what can be done to fix it."


Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber, commented on the move to cut interest rates in coincidence with Budget Day. 

He said:

“This is a prudent and proportionate move by the Bank of England, clearing factoring in a sharp slowdown in business activity over the next few months because of the coronvirus crisis.

“Dorset Chamber, which was the first chamber of commerce in the country to proactively advise members against shaking hands, will be providing advice, guidance and signposting during this unprecedented time.”