Budget news - latest: Pensions and childcare changes go further than expected - but have we seen 'giveaway to rich'? (2023)

Key points
  • Every announcement from Jeremy Hunt's budget
  • Chancellor admits 'many more' nurseries and minders needed to fulfil childcare promises as he defends staggered expansion
  • Pension lifetime allowance abolished
  • Jon Craig: This was the rabbit out of the hat - but it certainly looks like a giveaway to the rich
  • 30 hours of free childcare for children over nine months
  • Tamara Cohen: The election politics behind the chancellor's childcare plans
  • Sam Coates: Hunt's challenge is whether voters feel the benefits fast enough
  • Live reporting by Lauren Russell


Five key takeaways from today's budget

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt wanted to "prove doubters wrong" with a budget announcement that will avoid recession and steer the economy away recession.

Political correspondent Mhari Aurora explains the five key takeaways you need to know from today's budget announcement


Aide of SNP leadership candidate calls for contest to have third-party auditor

The campaign manager for SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes has called for the party to appoint a third-party auditor for the contest.

In a letter, Michelle Thomson requested that an independent auditor be given full oversight of all membership numbers, data and processes, as the integrity of the ballot processes have been called into question.

As we reported earlier, Ms Forbes has joined forces with fellow candidates Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf to put pressure on party chiefs to reveal how many members are eligible to vote.

This is to ensure a leadership election that is transparent and fair, as criticisms of "secrecy" in the contest have emerged.

Ms Thomson wrote: "There seems to be a perception that the third party company operating the ballot process is a) independent and b) are responsible for the entire process.

"This is not the case – they are simply a company contracted by the SNP to provide services to their client’s specification. This is entirely different."

She said that the SNP "remain ultimately accountable and responsible for many of the processes, oversight and ultimate integrity of the ballot".

"The fact that questions are being asked can only further undermine trust in SNP HQ," she added.

She has asked for the SNP to "appoint a robust, experienced, third-party auditor of both the ballot processes and the eventual tally of the vote".

The SNP's national executive committee will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow morning.

(Video) Budget 2023: Pension lifetime allowance abolished - going further than expected


Hunt in 'bullish form' after budget - but it could start to unravel tomorrow

After Jeremy Hunt delivered his budget announcement in the House of Commons, he headed to speak to the 1922 Committee, or as they are better known, Conservative backbenchers.

Sky's chief political correspondent Jon Craigsaid Mr Hunt went into the talk in "bullish form", adamant that he was going to tell the group how the budget was going to help the party win the next election.

But what response did he get?

Following a 40-minute speech, Craig said that many backbenchers came away "very upbeat".

For some, the budget has been the third reason to be hopeful, the first being constructive talks about the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the second being the Illegal Migration Bill white paper.

Despite loyalists supporting Mr Hunt's budget, Craig said there were some who criticised aspects of the budget, including Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg who attacked the rise in corporation tax while in the Commons.

Boris Johnson spoke out against a hike in corporation tax before the budget - Craig said all eyes and ears will be on the Commons to see if the former prime minister or his successor Liz Truss will speak in the Chamber.

Sometimes day two is where the budget starts to unravel, said Craig.

Most Conservatives are pretty delighted, apart from allies of Truss and Johnson, he added.


SNP leadership candidates call for transparency

SNP headquarters has refused to meet demands from all three candidates vying to replace Nicola Sturgeon to publish the number of eligible members voting, writes Sky's Scotland correspondent, Connor Gillies.

Ash Regan and Kate Forbes joined calls from Humza Yousaf for transparency in the leadership process.

So far, SNP bosses have failed to reveal how many members are taking part in the process.

There has been widespread criticism of "secrecy" in the contest.

(Video) Did the Spring Budget deliver for older workers?

Earlier today, Ms Regan and Ms Forbes issued a joint open letter hitting out at party chiefs. The team representing Mr Yousaf said they made similar representations on Tuesday.

In a tweet, Ms Regan said "in the interest of transparency and fairness, all campaigns must get clarity on the number of SNP members voting in this contest".

It is understood by Sky News that the national executive committee of the SNP will meet on Thursday morning amid the transparency row. It's likely this could lead to the membership figures being released.

Previously, it was believed that detailson the number of votes, percentage share, and turnout will only be published after the winner is announced at the end of March.


There's a feel-bad factor coming, and this budget won't help

This was just about a "normal budget" - the first "normal" budget in three years, writes economics and data editor Ed Conway.

Think about it: first, there was COVID, during which the normal rules about economic policymaking dissolved away.

Then came Liz Truss's astounding mini-budget and Jeremy Hunt's equally surreal autumn statement which essentially undid everything that came before it.

You can read Conway's full analysis here:


Sack Lineker and replace with a woman 'at half the price', says ex-BBC governor

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright should be sacked from Match Of The Day (MOTD) and replaced with women "at half the price", a former BBC governor has said.

The suggestion from Lord Young of Norwood Green sparked outcry from his own Labour benches in the House of Lords.

However, he insisted he did not believe the corporation should be paying Lineker's £1.35m salary or Shearer's £450,000 sum.

He told peers in Westminster: "I tend to echo the view that was made about Gary Lineker and his salary.

"He's like many people in that position in the past who believe they are irreplaceable.

(Video) Budget 2023: Jeremy Hunt defends pensions and speed of childcare reforms

"You'll remember that Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear team thought that they were irreplaceable and needless to say that Top Gear thrives just as successfully without them.

"So, if I had a solution, and advice that I have conveyed in written form to the director-general, it would be to get rid of the old boys' club, namely Lineker, Shearer and Wright, replace it with at least one or two women, which we could probably do at half the price and they'd do twice as good a job."

The controversial comments come after the BBC said Lineker was stepping back from hosting the weekly football highlights programme after criticising the government's migration policy on social media.

The BBC has nowagreed to allow the former England footballer back on airthis weekend, with director-general Tim Davie denying it amounted to a climbdown by the corporation.


Budget 2023 calculator: See if you are better or worse off

Are you richer or poorer?

Use our budgetcalculator to see how you have been affected by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's tax and spending announcements.

Put your details in the table in the link below and find out if you are better or worse off...


Hunt insists budget will get people back to work - is he right?

A big focus of the chancellor's budget is getting people back to work - included over-50s and working mothers.

Sky's people and politics correspondent Nick Martin hasasked workers and experts whether they think his measures will work.

Karen Tyndall, 62, wants to work and has sought help and advice on how to do so at a drop-in centre in Liverpool.

Mr Hunt's "Returnerships" apprenticeship targets the over-50s, and Ms Tyndall likes the sound of it.

"I think it's great but I don't think people should be on the minimum wage," she told Martin.

With nearly a fifth of the working age population in the UK economically inactive, Martin says the chancellor needs to make it easier for women in particular to get back into work.

(Video) Budget 2023: What will it mean for households?

Sophia Kennedy, from The Women's Organisation, which focuses on training women in Liverpool, says investment needs to go into skills development and support packages should be offered to tackle this statistic.

With a recession looming, wages stagnating and redundancies up, Martin says despite the chancellor's best efforts, getting people back to work is not going to be easy.


Who are the winners and losers? How three real households are affected

The chancellor announced measures covering pensions, childcare, energy bills and petrol prices in his budget this afternoon.

But what does that all really mean?

Sky News has crunched the numbers on the monthly finances for three real households to see if they'll be better or worse off.

Linda Marshall, a retired nurse, is on pension and disability support. Her husband works, and she cares for their grandchildren. Will she be better off?

Mike Holden, an IT consultant, owns his own home and is a landlord but lost money from interest rises. What does the budget mean for him?

Lianne Bruce and her husband are both self-employed after she stopped work as a nurse. They have a four-year-old daughter. Is she worse off?

Read more on what the budget means for these three here...


Boris Johnson gives his view on one part of the budget...

Boris Johnson, whose absence from the Commons this afternoon as Jeremy Hunt was delivering his budget did not go unnoticed, has voiced his support for one aspect of the chancellor's financial plan.

The former prime minister said it was "excellent" to see that the government is pressing on with a Great British Nuclear programme to tackle the energy crisis.

Mr Hunt said in the budget that the government plans for a quarter of electricity to be nuclear-powered by 2050 and to that end Great British Nuclear was created - with the aim to "bring down costs and provide opportunities across the nuclear supply chain".

During his time in Number 10, Mr Johnson pledged to build a nuclear power plant every year to help Britain move away from dependency on Russian oil and gas after Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine - so his support comes as no surprise.

(Video) Budget: Benefits, childcare, and energy support among raft of changes for 2023 | ITV News


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