Budget 2020


Peers got the chance to debate the Chancellor’s Budget last week (18 March). The debate covered universal basic income, welfare benefits and the taxation of entrepreneurs, within the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government was unmoved on most concerns about the Chancellor’s Budget, which itself has been overtaken by more recent announcements.

The debates on the Budget this week were understandably held with the COVID-19 outbreak foremost in the minds of MPs. Conservatives generally praised the Budget and the goal of ‘levelling up’ the UK, while Labour said COVID-19 exposed the impact of the Conservatives’ 10 years of austerity. The Government announced a 12-month delay to the introduction of off-payroll working changes.


Following Wednesday’s statement by the Chancellor, MPs are holding four days of debate on the measures in the Budget. The first two of these were Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 March. (The latter two days – Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 March – will be the subject of a future report.)