The Chancellor's price range raises considerations about inequality and important companies – Bible Type

The Chancellor's price range raises considerations about inequality and important companies

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(Photo: Unsplash / Aron Van de Pol)

The new budget, which the Chancellor presented on Wednesday, was mixed up by some.

Coronavirus dominated Rishi Sunak's tax and spending plans for next year, with £ 30bn dedicated to protecting the economy.

GBP 5 billion was pledged to an emergency fund to support frontline services such as the NHS, while local councils received an additional £ 500 million to help the most vulnerable in their communities.

There was also some relief for small businesses: GBP 1.2 million was made available for business interruption loans, and businesses with fewer than 250 employees were offered reimbursement for two weeks' sick pay.

"I want to go straight to the topic that everyone is talking about – the COVID19 coronavirus," Sunak said in his first budget speech to Parliament.

"I know how concerned people are. Concerned about their health, the health of their loved ones, their work, their income, their business, their financial security.

"And I know that if you turn on your TV and talk about a market collapse and impending recessions, you will be even more worried.

"People want to know what happens and what can be done to fix the problem.

"Everyone needs to know that we are doing everything we can to keep this country and our people healthy and financially secure.

"We are aware that this is an issue that is above the party. We will please you and your family and I know that I will have the support of the whole house if I say so."

Mark Russell, CEO of the children's society, welcomed the additional support from local authorities in the face of the outbreak of the coronavirus, but said that the household still did not address the issue of long-term funding for councils struggling to provide vital services.

"It is good to see that the government is responding to the Cornoavirus outbreak with additional emergency supplies for councils to help vulnerable people," he said.

"However, long-term, targeted funds must also be made available to councils to provide emergency aid to families in a crisis.

"The lack of targeted funding has led many councils to cut local social assistance systems to support families in financial need, and now one in seven councils is no longer providing these programs. The councils should get the resources they need to provide the best possible family safety net. "

He warned that childcare in particular was suffering from a funding shortage and that the recent budget would do little to remedy this.

"Childcare is desperately in need of additional funds, and it is disappointing that no more has been done to fix this," he said.

"Too many children do not get the help they deserve, without whom they may be unhappy, missing, and at risk of criminal and sexual exploitation.

"The additional £ 1 billion a year previously pledged by the government covers the entire social care system, including adult care, and is welcome, but far behind what is needed.

"The government's promise of social welfare review must address this deficit and ensure that councils receive the long-term funding they need to support all children and families in need."

Justin Thacker, National Coordinator of Church's Tax Justice Action, questioned how the government plans to fund its spending commitments.

"It seems like Rishi Sunak's first budget reinvented the magic money tree. There were many promises of spending, but it was far less clear where the money would come from," he said.

He also questioned some of the commitments, including those related to climate and alcohol consumption.

"While many aspects of the budget are welcome, some aspects seem strange," he said.

"Does it make sense, for example, to invest in flood protection while freezing the fuel tax and expanding road use? It seems like a band-aid on a deep wound.

"And the changes in social security will benefit working people with average incomes, but if the intention was to help the poorest in society, there are much better ways to do it."

He continued: "Many Christians will also be concerned about the freeze on alcohol tax and the lowering of prices for pubs, as we often see the negative social consequences of drinking.

"Perhaps the biggest problem is simply that the significant economic inequality in our country has not been addressed. We remain a deeply divided society and this budget has not taken the opportunity to address this."

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