On the Economy:
Steve Hughes, head of economics and social policy at Policy Exchange said:
“From a pay freeze to a pay rise, hard working Brits have been rewarded with a boost to their wages. Likewise small and large firms will benefit from cuts in corporation tax and National Insurance.
“The critical challenge to sustained economic growth both in terms of workers’ wages and GDP will be boosting productivity. The focus must be on attracting and retaining top quality teachers in schools around the country, investing in much needed road, rail and energy infrastructure and encouraging companies to make better use of technology.”
Chris Walker, head of housing at Policy Exchange said:
“Housing associations will be hit hard by the Chancellor’s commitment to lower social rents. The sector will undoubtedly be up in arms arguing that this will affect the number of affordable homes being built. This is difficult to argue given housing associations’ large surplus positions.”
On Higher Education:
Jonathan Simons, head of education at Policy Exchange said:
“Universities are one of the clearest winners from this budget. The elements that save government money – a switch of maintenance grants to loans and a freeze in the repayment thresholds – won’t affect them directly, and a promised inflation rise in fees if they can show excellent teaching is a long campaigned for prize. In a Budget which set out continued cuts across much of the public sector, Higher Education continues to defy gravity”.