The problem with posting a poll on a Tuesday about what readers would like to see in the Budget is that you tend to get very few votes after the Chancellor’s speech on the Wednesday. So, with the fallout over George Osborne’s measures still resolving itself, we had a relatively low response count of 324 to last week’s poll. Of these, the largest group, with 28 per cent of responses, wanted to see better support for apprenticeships and training. Only slightly fewer, 27 per cent, opted for measures supporting low-carbon energy: they may have been pleased by Osborne’s announcements concerning small modular nuclear reactors. Next came those backing investment in transport infrastructure, on 17 per cent; these respondents will be interested in an upcoming interview with the chief engineer of the Crossrail 2 project, which as expected was confirmed. The 13 per cent of respondents who wanted the Chancellor to protect the steel industry by changing the way rates are charged on plant would have been disappointed. Interestingly, only 4 per cent of respondents wanted to see the climate change levy increased, which did actually happen. As we indicated in the article accompanying last week’s poll, this increase was to offset the scrapping of the carbon reduction commitment. This does lead us to wonder what the response would have been if the option given in the poll referred to the commitment scrapping rather than the compensatory levy rise.
As ever, we’d like to continue to hear your opinions on this topic.