Andrew Marr: In every Budget, there's a human story - this Spring it promises to be about childcare

14 March 2023, 18:16 | Updated: 14 March 2023, 18:21

, stating Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will likely cut extortionate 'childcare costs’.

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Behind all the "graphs, numbers and hoo-hah" of every Budget, there's a "real human story", which could centre around childcare this year, Andrew Marr has said.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver the Budget tomorrow with pressure to cut taxes as millions of Brits grapple with the increasing cost of living.

One issue that promises to feature in Mr Hunt's budget is childcare, which Labour believes could be an election-winning issue, Andrew said.

Speaking on LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr on Tuesday, the presenter said: "The Budget’s the day in the year when all the clever people who really understand numbers try to persuade the rest of us it's really exciting.

"And mostly fail Because for the rest of us it's generally speaking also the day when we learn we're going to pay more for the things we most enjoy.

"But generally, behind the complex numbers and the graphs and hoo-hah there's a real human story in any Budget and this year, I may have spotted it already.

"You might have heard on the show last week about how the lack of affordable childcare, is preventing hundreds of thousands women from working. Labour thinks better childcare may be an election winning issue."

Jeremy Hunt is due to give his first Spring Budget as Chancellor
Jeremy Hunt is due to give his first Spring Budget as Chancellor. Picture: Getty

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Andrew continued: "Now what happens? The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says he’s going to cut childcare costs in his budget for families.

"Turn next to the front page of today’s Telegraph and you'll find Mr Hunt also intends to boost the tax free allowance for pensions by more than half a million quid. Now then. What links those two stories? I’ll tell you.

"They are both about the number of people who are actually working, as Britain struggles to grow. All those women unable to work.

"And, with the partial breakdown of our traditional pension system, we have lots of people retiring early because it's not worth staying on for a bigger pension - what some MPs called the doctors tax because so many better paid people, including NHS doctors, retire early."

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It comes as the Office of National Statistics has found that nearly two-thirds of people in England and Wales are "economically inactive", meaning they are not looking for work.

Andrew continued: "It's partly the after-effect of pandemic and Britain’s not alone: but getting more people working is a big national challenge - and may well be the real story of this budget.

"The problem particularly affects the north of England where 28% of economic inactivity is due to long-term sickness - and nearly a third in the northeast."