Business groups welcomed the Chancellor’s statement but unions were scathing, calling it “Robin Hood in reverse”.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said work, not wealth, should be rewarded, adding: “At the first opportunity, Liz Truss is holding down wages and lining the pockets of big corporations and City bankers.
“The party of pay cuts strikes again. This budget is Robin Hood in reverse.”
Tony Danker, CBI director-general, described it as a turning point for the economy.
“Like Covid, the energy crisis has meant Government has had to spend massively to protect people and businesses. That means we have no choice but to go for growth to afford it.
“Today is day one of a new UK growth approach. We must now use this opportunity to make it count and bring growth to every corner of the UK. Fifteen years of anaemic growth cannot be repeated.
“Taking action to get Britain’s economy moving again by beginning construction on transport and green infrastructure projects shows immediate delivery. Planning reform is long overdue.”
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The Government has ditched levelling up for an all-out offensive to make the wealthiest even richer.
“In the middle of a huge cost-of-living crisis, this isn’t the time for economic experiments that are doomed to fail.”
Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, said: “The Chancellor has clearly recognised that we are heading for very stormy waters in the face of eyewatering increases in energy and other costs, together with a difficult international environment.
“Industry will welcome today’s statement which, coming on the back of the support for energy, contains a number of positive measures to help shield viable companies from the worst impact of escalating costs and help protect jobs.
“The focus on prioritising growth with plans to speed up planning reforms, boost infrastructure and investment is especially welcome.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This mini-budget is unashamedly a budget for the rich, big business and the City – highest earners’ tax slashed, corporation tax slashed, investment bankers’ bonuses let rip.
“Billionaires and city bankers will once again be considering which tax haven they will stash their money in, whilst millions of ordinary families continue to struggle to make ends meet.”
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said: “Putting business at the heart of delivering prosperity for the UK is always the right call, and the Chancellor’s focus on this will have landed well with employers all over the country.”
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