The government has served up its yearly menu of spending and taxation plans in the 2014 Budget.
The starter is a commitment to infrastructure, including HS2 and the Mersey Gateway Bridge, garnished with a £200m potholes challenge fund. My choice for main course is the extension of the Help to Buy scheme until March 2020, with a side of other measures aimed at increasing housing supply, including a New Garden City.
The amuse bouche is a continued commitment to cut red tape, with over 3,000 regulations destined for a French trim or an outright chop. And for desert I’ll go for a locally-sourced choice; the £100m commitment to Greater Cambridge until 2019-20 to support its ambitious transport and infrastructure proposals through a Gain Share mechanism.
So, how was the meal? Well, the spending plans announced are not kicking in until after the next general election and the funding for flood defences doesn’t address long-term flood prevention. In summary, the dishes sounded good but it felt like there were a few ingredients missing. As a future first time buyer working to save up a suitably sized deposit in a tough housing market the main course was a welcome and tasty treat.
What did you think?