The United Kingdom Annual 2012 budget plan was unveiled by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne . The finance minister suggested that the British economy looked set to avoid a renewed recession and the recovery will pick up speed next year.
The following statements are reactions to the government’s economic forecasts, business measures and new tax proposals:
ROSS WALKER, RBS
“All very much as expected, barely any changes at all to the growth and borrowing numbers.
“All very much as expected on the macro side (..) and thus far the micro policy changes are all very much as had been leaked. It looks from a market point of view to be fairly neutral.”
GEORGE BUCKLEY, DEUTSCHE BANK
“The numbers are not vastly different to what was expected and certainly not vastly different to what was announced just a few months ago.
“Growth was revised up slightly for 2012 to 0.8 percent (from 0.7 percent) – while this is the first upward revision we have seen in quite some time (since 2009) it is clearly very modest.”
BRIAN HILLIARD, SOCIETE GENERALE
“The headline grabber is the cut in income tax. He said the higher rate didn’t raise any extra money anyway, so economically he can justify it but politically I think it’s a bit of a gamble.
“I’m a little bit surprised to see them lower the claimant count forecast, so they are a little bit more optimistic about employment and unemployment, which needs to be looked at.
PHILIP SHAW, INVESTEC
“Nothing particularly dramatic. The GDP forecasts look reasonably similar to the autumn statement numbers, it’s not a massive shift in the economy between November and March.”