You spoke . . Mr Hunt listened
WE couldn’t be prouder that we persuaded the Chancellor not to make this cost-of-living crisis worse for our readers — and indeed all of Britain.
As drivers fill up over the next year, they will have our Keep It Down campaign specifically to thank for saving them £100 . . . more still for those using their car, van or truck daily for work.
Treasury officials cursed us as Jeremy Hunt credited The Sun in his Budget for convincing him to heed our advice over theirs regarding the plight of motorists.
Stinging drivers seems an easy hit for well-heeled Whitehall types who commute by Tube.
We know how hard a fuel duty rise would have hammered everyone else, especially beyond the M25.
Well done, Mr Hunt, for seeing sense.
As ever, the Budget’s small print may gradually reveal a few horrors — but at first sight the fuel freeze looks one of a decent crop of wins for our readers.
The energy price cap will be extended for another three months.
Millions on pre-payment meters will no longer be charged more than those on direct debits. Both are great news.
The big expansion of free childcare is a huge boost for young families desperate to work.
And those on Universal Credit will get their costs covered straight away — another Sun victory.
Taxes still far too high
The other major element of Mr Hunt’s “back to work” drive, to get millions of economically inactive people filling the glut of vacancies, is more controversial.
The abolition of the limit on pension savings before punitive taxes kick in is a game-changer for some wealthier folk in their 50s and 60s.
But it’s expensive — and only time will tell if it encourages enough of them to keep earning and saving instead of retiring early.
NHS chiefs insist it could keep thousands of veteran GPs in work.
That’s worth the punt, given the crisis in our surgeries.
We applaud the new defence spending, including £30million for veterans.
And at long last a Government is getting serious about nuclear power, without which Net Zero Britain is a mere fantasy.
When, though, will new power stations actually be announced?
The Chancellor’s tone was upbeat, with the OBR predicting NO recession this year after all, and inflation plummeting within months.
But taxes remain far too high and growth is woeful. Which makes sticking by April’s six per cent corporation tax hike bizarre.
Mr Hunt is at least turbo-charging investment by temporarily letting firms deduct new equipment and IT from taxable profits.
Fine. But this tax rise still deters foreign firms from moving here.
That’s an own-goal for Brexit Britain.
Keir Starmer sniggered and sneered in reply, but offered no alternative solutions.
If that’s all Labour has, Mr Hunt can consider it a good day.