Post-Brexit Budget sees 'huge opportunities' for UK

7 January 2020, 06:39

This will be the first post-Brexit budget
This will be the first post-Brexit budget. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Boris Johnson’s first post-Brexit Budget is set to take place on March 11, with Chancellor Sajid Javid explaining how the UK can take advantage of the "huge opportunities" that he claimed will be presented by leaving the European Union.

The Chancellor said his Budget would help to "spread opportunity to those left behind,” but Labour hit out at the plans branding it a "budget of climate change recklessness not renewal."

Speaking during a visit to Manchester, Mr Javid said the government would follow through with its election manifesto pledge to loosen the purse strings following a decade of austerity.

The Government is set to increase borrowing in order to fund election promises, with Mr Javid saying "the country voted for change" by backing Boris Johnson at the ballot box in December.

Promising an "infrastructure revolution" in his first Budget as Chancellor, Mr Javid indicated there would be up to £100 billion available for "transformative" projects across the country over the coming years.

Speaking during a visit to the new £350 million Trafford Park tram line project in Manchester, Mr Javid said: "The country voted for change. There are still too many people in our great country that feel left behind and we are going to deliver that change."

Mr Javid will provide an economic update to the Cabinet on Tuesday before facing MPs in the Commons as they return from their Christmas break.

"With this Budget we will unleash Britain's potential - uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal," Mr Javid said.

During the general election campaign Mr Javid made a decisive break from the policies adopted by his predecessors, promising to loosen constraints on borrowing to the tune of up to £20 billion a year for capital spending.

In the Budget, Mr Javid will update the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility with new rules to allow him to take advantage of historically low-interest rates to borrow to invest "properly and responsibly".

Mr Javid also said he would offer help for "hard-working people in particular, especially with the cost of living".

He had been due to deliver a Budget in November but that was cancelled after Brexit was delayed and Mr Johnson decided to go to the country.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: "After a decade of wrecking the economy, we can have no confidence in a Tory Government delivering the scale of investment needed for renewal especially with a no-deal Brexit still on the table.

"The lack of foresight in not focusing this Budget on the threat of climate change is also criminally irresponsible.

"The Government has learnt nothing from the fires in Australia and the floods on Indonesia.

"This will be a budget of climate change recklessness not renewal."