The 'escape velocity' Budget and the £3bn underpaid state pension victory

Mar 06, 07:09 PM
The Budget this week was notable for two things: Firstly, The Chancellor decided to delay settling the coronavirus bill to another day and, secondly, the true scale of the women's underpaid state pension scandal was laid bare at £3billion.

The collossal short-changing of married women on their state pensions was uncovered by This is Money columnist Steve Webb and journalist Tanya Jefferies just over a year ago.

Their investigations, campaigning and tenacity has paid off and now women affected should get what they are owed - to the tune of an astonishing £3billion, according to Budget documents.

Tanya joins Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert to explain the issue on this week's podcast, as the team also trawl through the Budget to explain what it means for people.

One day Britain might have to try to balance the books and pay the bill for the coronavirus rescue, but that day didn't arrive with the Budget.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak openly indulged in some stealth taxation by freezing personal allowances and income tax thresholds in the future and said corporation tax would rise, but kept the cash flowing to aid economic recovery.

Furlough was extended, there will be an encore at the stamp duty holiday party, the business investment of Eat Out to Help Out was launched, and a new 5% deposit mortgage scheme has been launched (without being called Help-to-anything, so that's something at least).

The self-employed also got some more help, with new entrepreneurs getting assistance, but bizarrely those who previously earned more than £50,000 as sole traders and paid lots of tax are still left out in the cold.

The tax burden is set to rise but this was no austerity Budget and Britain's debt and deficit are scarily big.

So will Rishi's third Budget in a year be what Britain's economy needs to achieve escape velocity as lockdown eases (and hopefully never comes back)?