What the papers say – November 23
Philip Hammond delivers his second Budget – and the papers react.
There are hard hats, brickbats and bouquets – with caveats – for the Chancellor on Thursday’s front pages.
Reaction to Wednesday’s Budget comprises a mix of praise for “remainer” Philip Hammond’s newfound “upbeat” approach to Brexit and help for young housebuyers, set against the “gloom” of what lies ahead for Britain’s economy.
The Daily Mail announces it has rescinded its Winnie The Pooh-inspired nickname for the Chancellor – Eeyore – for displaying optimism over Brexit, but warns he should still be “very” glum about the country’s debt.
And the Daily Telegraph highlights the Chancellor’s Brexit optimism, while a front page commentary provides a stiff upper lip in the face of the country’s downgraded productivity outlook, saying: “Forecasts are only forecasts, there to be proved wrong.”
However, The Guardian says Mr Hammond is seeking to “mask” Britain’s deteriorating economic outlook with pledges on home ownership and a “modest” increase in spending for the NHS.
“Thanks for nothing” declares the Daily Mirror – saying the Budget left “ordinary Brits” facing “years of hardship” after it omitted a public sector pay rise and admitted the economy will be be “dire for years”.
The Financial Times says the Chancellor’s promise to fix the country’s housing market was “overshadowed” by the biggest downgrade in the UK’s economic prospects since the financial crisis.
And The Times says the £25 billion “giveaway” saw Mr Hammond ease off austerity in order to counter growing economic and political headwinds with money for housing, the NHS and Brexit.
Focusing on the Brexit angle, the Daily Express points to the Chancellor’s announcement of a £3 billion “war chest” it views as a warning to Brussels that the UK is ready to leave the EU without a deal.
The i says it was Mr Hammond’s “hard hat Budget” while CityAM unpicks the “tangle” of measures to get Britain building again – alongside a mocked-up picture of the Chancellor in a high visibility jacket and blue helmet carrying a spade.
And as England’s cricketers embark on the first Test of the Ashes The Sun uses the headline – House-zat! – on its front page Budget coverage.
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