The internet is awash with stories about how the 2009 budget is going to affect people — as you’d expect, given its importance to the Great British public — and as usual, reviews are mixed as to how useful Darling Alistair’s plans are going to be in helping us muddle through the recession the media never stops banging on about. Here’s a handy summary for those who didn’t manage to catch it firsthand, as well as Anne Redston’s examination of the problems that lie therein. Of course, this is BorisWatch, and it would be entirely remiss of us not to include Boris’s thoughts on the whole thing. Quoth Mr Johnson:
This budget does little to help London and a lot to hurt it. While there are some welcome announcements, the Chancellor’s barrage of measures to raise more tax from high earners affects London and Londoners far more than anywhere else. Our capital is the engine room of the UK economy, generating 17 per cent of the UK’s GDP each year. Penalising high earners with higher taxes risks undermining the capital’s competitiveness in the cut throat field where the City has been most successful, and runs the risk of driving highly skilled workers away and deterring others from coming.
Many of the housing measures – such as the extension of the stamp duty – are too small to help the London housing market as prices are higher here in the capital. Also, the capital will benefit very little from measures to help the oil industry, manufacturing or the car industry. The boost to low carbon industries is very welcome – and is supported by my economic strategy – but I want to make sure this is not simply targeted at other parts of the country and that London gets its fair share.
The man has a point: London is going to struggle more than most places due to the high cost of living, and it’s no wonder he’s keen to ensure that his city is looked after. What do you think? Were Londoners short-changed by our Darling Chancellor, or is everything as it should be? Let us know in the comments