United Kingdom

UK Budget 2020

The new Chancellor spends big to counter Coronavirus and to keep the “levelling-up” promise

The Chancellor’s statement comes amid the Coronavirus outbreak and shortly after the 50bps rate cut by the Bank of England this morning. The Budget constitutes a large increase in government investment and day-to-day spending but only back to pre-austerity levels. However, It does seemingly mark a turning-point in terms of spending as a percentage of GDP.

Even before the virus outbreak, today’s Budget was set to be a hugely significant one. Following the election victory in December, the government announced an expansive agenda of “levelling-up” the regions through increased investment in infrastructure, the NHS and several other key departments.

The UK has also just left the European Union and the future relationship negotiations are just beginning. Now the Coronavirus virus outbreak seriously threatens the near-term strength of the UK economy, which had already been facing a slowing global economic backdrop. Against this backdrop, the Chancellor has announced several emergency measures to help mitigate the very likely economic damage from the outbreak including extra funding for the NHS, statutory sick pay for those in self-isolation and a government refund scheme on statutory sick pay up to 2 weeks for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Click here to view Aon’s full UK Budget 2020 review.