Chancellor: Rishi Sunak.
Wishy-Washy Rishi, has been speaking at length, about the budget he will unveil on Wednesday. Mr Sunak's budget is expected to address a lot of subjects related to the finances of the UK.
For example, in the budget, there will be finance to the tune of £126 million to boost traineeships. Also, a mortgage guarantee scheme aimed at helping aspiring homeowners with small deposits onto the property ladder.
Also, there will be plans to incentivise lenders to provide a mortgage to first-time buyers and homeowners with just 5% deposits to buy properties worth up to £600,000.
Mr Sunak has warned that the UK's public finances will face "enormous strains" in the wake of the latest lockdown. Mr Sunak told the 'Financial Times' or 'FT', that the bill the government has invested in COVID support is £280 billion. This bill will eventually have to be paid and Mr Sunak made no bones, about that. This will leave in Mr Sunak's words, the nation's finances "exposed". Mr Sunak acknowledged that the nation has far more debt than it usually does, for the reasons explained. Mr Sunak talked about being honest with the British people over this and being level about it.
Sunak, however, whilst admitting there was much bad news in the budget, some aspects of his budget will be a boon for those who have suffered the worst, because of the pandemic. Concluding his interview with the 'FT', Mr Sunak said he had promised to take care of the British people at the beginning of the pandemic and he would continue to so. Obviously then, when Mr Sunak commends this budget to the House of Commons, (as all Chancellors have done) this budget will be the help he is talking about.
Of course, Mr Sunak's opposite numbers in Labour, SNP, Lib-Dems, etc, will be scrutinising every detail of the budget. Labour's Anneliese Dodds, will be pawing through the budget trying to find fault and loopholes in the budget report to give her ammo to attack it. As to what to expect from the kind of criticism the budget may face, Sir Keir Starmer addressed the issue of low paid workers being left behind. Whether Sunak's meanderings are enough for the poorest and worst hit in our society, remains to be seen.
Sunak at the outset of the pandemic was called the 'people's chancellor' because of his generous payments. Payments to furlough workers, so they wouldn't lose their jobs and loans to help businesses. Schemes such as 'Help Out to Eat Out' proved popular with many people, whereby between Mon-Wed, you could eat out for free.
Some say Sunak's popularity has waned, so the question is, will this new budget win back his title as the 'people's chancellor'?