From MPs to Party activists: this is what our members thought of George Osborne's eighth Budget.
Dr Liam Fox MP
Member of Parliament for North Somerset and former Secretary of State for Defence
Perhaps the most important thing about the Budget is also the most understated, which is that it is occurring against a veritable job creation miracle in this country. Since World War Two, jobs have never been created at the rate that they are being created now, and that is the starkest difference between the economic management of this Government, and that of Labour when it was in power in recent years.
There is much in the Budget to boost that job creation further: the increase in tax thresholds, which is a further incentive to work; the doubling of small business rate relief, which will help to generate more wealth and jobs; the lifetime ISA, which is an encouragement to saving; and the cut in corporation tax.
Britain is outperforming almost all other EU countries, and almost all other developed countries. We have sound finance, free markets, low taxes, deregulation and political stability. The Government have presided over a veritable job creation miracle in this country while the European Union stagnates. We have a chance in the referendum on 23 June not only to reboot Britain, but to deliver much needed electric shock therapy to a sclerotic, failing and stagnating EU. I hope we take the economic opportunities available to us.
John Redwood MP
Member of Parliament for Wokingham and Chairman of the Conservative Economic Affairs Committee
Britain imports energy, but we have no need to do so. We are an island of coal, oil and gas set in a sea of coal, oil and gas. I am pleased that the Budget is starting to tackle the issue of the oil industry offshore through tax changes. We need to do other work on that, and we also need to get on with gas extraction onshore. We will probably find further oil resources when we are prospecting for shale gas in the shale sands. We need to start bridging the gap on energy before it becomes even more damaging to our balance of payments.
DR SPENCER PITFIELD OBE
DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATIVE TRADE UNIONISTS AND CWF BOARD MEMBER
The stand out announcement for me today was no doubt the most courageous - a sugar tax on fizzy drinks. I have argued for such a policy for many years now - my views are well known and I have become resigned to often fighting a rear-guard action amongst colleagues. But this is no doubt the right policy and approach - a levy on fizzy drinks with all funds raised (£520 million?) reinvested into school sports and fitness programmes. Childhood obesity is becoming - already is - a major health issue in our country and our Chancellor has been bold and taken on the problem head on. Bravo!
2015 Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar
If this budget proves anything, it shows George Osborne knows that small businesses are what keep the economy growing, and I'm pleased to see increased business rates relief which already helps so many. I think it's great how he's effectively abolished the Petroleum Revenue Tax, which will be a much needed boost for North Sea Oil & Gas. I'm intrigued by the new lifetime ISA and would like to see further detail, however it shows this government is continuing to back those who save. I'm not so much a fan of the sugar tax, I don't think it's a very conservative principle, however I'm pleased to see the income will be going towards children's health. An overall good budget, but not as brave as I had hoped.