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Hello and welcome to our look ahead
to what the the papers will be
bringing us tomorrow.
With me are Caroline Wheeler,
deputy political editor
at the Sunday Times, and Ben Chu,
economics editor of the Independent.
Tomorrow's front pages -
The Financial Times leads
with the Chancellor's budget,
writing that it's been overshadowed
by the biggest downgrade in economic
growth since the financial crisis.
The Telegraph headlines
with the budget's abolishing
of stamp duty for some
The Metro says that Philip Hammond
has tried to help millions get
onto the housing ladder,
but that experts believe it
will just raise prices.
The Express writes that
Number 11 have unveiled
a £3 billion package for Brexit,
which the paper says,
shows the UK is ready to leave
the EU without a deal.
The Times says the Chancellor
has eased off austerity
with a £25 billion giveaway
to counter political
and economic pressures.
The Guardian claims Mr Hammond
is trying to mask Britain's
deteriorating economic situation
by pledging to revive
the homeowning dream.
And the Mail takes back it's
nickname for the Chancellor -
Eeyore - which he was given
for his gloomy outlook on Brexit.
They have all taken slightly
different takes. Let's start with
the Financial Times. A grim outlook
overshadows housing drive. That kind
of sums up the budget. Some positive
headlines for some people, but
things not looking too good on the
economic front. That's right, and
that's happened with a few
announcements and economic words,
where he basically described the
fact that the growth forecast had
been slashed on the run-up to this
spending review period, which gave
him less wiggle room to do
interesting things with. When we
started this budget cycle, it always
begins after party conference
season. The initial trajectory was
that this would be a big, bold, make
or break budget for the Chancellor,
a career show stopping budget. The
fact that these forecasts came out
at the same time meant he had
limited ability to make
announcements, and that set the tone
for the budget, which is why he got
that out the way to begin with as
almost a warning shot to MPs. Saying
that the economy is not doing as
well as expected, so downgrade your
expectation a bit.
The Telegraph has an awful lot on
the budget on its front page.
Outlook gloomy, but there to be
proved wrong. It is relatively early
days for Theresa May, but not for
the Conservative government. They
will have wanted better headlines
about the economy.
Hammond came in saying, I'm really
up beat and positive about Brexit,
trying to throw off this Eeyore name
that he's been given for being too
gloomy and downbeat. Then he had to
present this catastrophically bad
growth forecast. These are the worst
five-year growth forecast ever
produced by the OBR since it was set
up. Never have they had growth
forecast lower than 2%. This is the
worst of any of the Treasury
forecasts as well.
What is causing
Interestingly, everyone is
implying it's about Brexit. But it
isn't. The OBR has decided that our
productivity and growth potential is
weaker than had been thought. Since
the financial crisis, it was assumed
that our growth would bounce back to
2.5%, but that hasn't happened.
That's why the growth forecast is
bad and borrowing is up, and why the
outlook is bleak.
Let's look at some
of the positives. A helping hand for
first-time buyers, but even then,
experts are saying, it's not as good
as you think.
thing about the budget, other the
fact that Philip Hammond cracked a
few jokes, such as saying that he'd
asked the Prime Minister to bring
him some cough sweets.
really happy about that.
He did. The
stamp duty announcement was one of
those that had been widely rumoured
that it might come about. This is to
help first-time buyers. There's been
a feeling within the political
movement, particularly since Jeremy
Corbyn started making key
announcements around younger voters,
that the Conservatives were not
doing enough to support younger
voters, and that there was a
particularly around housing. This
was their way of trying to help them
to do this, reducing the amount of
tax they pay when buying their first
property up to £300,000, and
reducing the amount they pay on
homes up to £500,000. But the OBR
immediately poured a little bit of
cold water on it, saying it would
only help 3500 people, and that it
would push up house prices and was
one of these things that was
potentially open to misuse by people
pretending to be first-time buyers,
suggesting that the only thing that
would stop them is the fact they
would have to lie to their
And there is the
overwhelming task of saving up for a
deposit in the first place. The
cartoon on the front page of the
Telegraph sums it up. House prices
go up because demand goes up. Estate
agents saying, no more than two
young people at any time.
If you are
stoking up demand, you are feeding
the problem rather than solving it.
The solution lies in more supply.
The trouble with the stamp duty cut
is that it pushes up prices, and it
isn't dealing with the supply issue.
It is just helping a fuel lucky
people who will benefit, but doesn't
address the problem. We have seen
headlines about £44 billion for
housing. That is not government
cash. It is slightly obscure
guarantees. It is a big number and
it's not surprising the Treasury
want to push that out there. But we
don't know how many homes will
actually be built.
The Times says
that Hammond eases off austerity.
They are making a lot of the
idea that he has this £25 billion
giveaway. But there are smoke and
mirrors here, particularly with
housing, the possibility that savvy
Javed was pushing, this £50 billion
for the government to invest in a
house building scheme. Actually what
we got was a £50 billion
announcement that wasn't actually
government money. It falls a long
way short of what had been asked for
per year. It is kind of smoke and
It has been described as
Hammond's hard hat budget. There is
an image of a concrete mixer there.
It was a tough budget for him as
well as for everyone else that it
affects. He didn't have a lot to
He didn't. Very high
personal stake for him, because
after his last budget in March, he
put up national insurance on the
self employed, and Downing Street
basically told him to undo it, which
was a humiliating reversal. He had
to get this one right. That's why he
was so cautious. We knew stamp duty
was coming, so there was nothing
surprising in it. Apparently, he had
been running it passed a lot of Tory
MPs to make sure there was nothing
they could complain about. He played
it very safe.
Some papers saying
that this budget tells us about the
Brexit plans. UK faces worst decade
of economic growth in 60 years. The
deficit will not be wiped out until
at least 2031, and we have to get to
the other side of Brexit.
interesting thing is that it doesn't
factor in Brexit really. The OBR was
pointing towards her Florence
speech, which indicated a divorce
bill of about £20 billion. Other
indications show that it could be
more than twice that. That hasn't
been factored into these figures,
neither has what we get from these
negotiations. Transition has not
been pinned down, and that could
really impact businesses if we don't
get that pin down before the end of
the next quarter.
The Daily Express
describes it as £3 billion to speed
up the EU exit. Showing that the
government, it says, is willing to
have no deal.
I think it will add up
to more than that. There was this
debate between Hammond and the rest
of the Cabinet as to whether he
should put more money aside to deal
with Brexit. They are spinning it as
good for Brexit, because it shows we
have this money to spend. £3 billion
is not going to cut it and it smacks
of a massive compromise.
that Downing Street have won out. A
month ago he was saying that it was
irresponsible to open up the cough
and spend money on Brexit.
have a look at Buzzfeed. They always
have a slightly different take. They
are very close to the ground. They
are taking the line that it is going
to cut down on tax dodging by
Internet companies. That is
something that a lot of people get
And fair enough, it is
profit shifting. They don't pay
corporation tax because they
artificially shift their profits out
of the UK.
That didn't grab many
That's because they've
been hammering away at this issue
for a while. Hammond is trying to
tighten up existing measures
further. This is also about VAT,
which is another tech element of it.
These platforms where people are not
paying VAT they are trying to bring
that into line. It is essentially
digital companies which are avoiding
Caroline, with all of your
connections at Number 10, you can
describe what's going on in the
It's an interesting one.
The idea that he is no longer this
Eeyore. That was his nickname
because he was always so pessimistic
about everything. Despite everything
we have heard about the growth
forecasts, the Daily Mail has
decided to go on a more optimistic
picture of the budget, talking about
the help for first-time buyers,
which says more about the
positioning of the Daily Mail than
anything else. A lot of papers have
been critical of the Chancellor, who
was a remain voting minister.
Hammond has got a kicking from that
particular camp, so the fact they
have come out in favour of him shows
he is in the Prime Minister's good
books at the moment.
thank you for taking us through the
Don't forget you can see the front
pages of the papers online
on the BBC News website.
It's all there for you - seven days
a week at bbc.co.uk/papers.
If you miss the programme any
evening, you can watch it
later on BBC iPlayer.
Thank you to my guests,
Caroline Wheeler and Ben Chu.