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Silicon Valley Bank UK arm hands out £15m in bonuses days after £1 rescue | Business News

The British arm of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB UK) has handed out millions of pounds in employee bonuses just days after its insolvency was averted through a Bank of England-orchestrated rescue deal.

Sky News has learnt that the payouts to staff including its senior executives were signed off by HSBC, SVB UK’s new owner, earlier this week.

Sources described the bonus pool as “modest”, and said it totalled between £15m and £20m.

It was unclear on Saturday how much had been awarded to Erin Platts, the UK bank’s chief executive or her senior colleagues.

One insider said the bonus payments were a signal of HSBC’s confidence in the talent base at its new subsidiary and that the buyer had been keen to honour previously agreed payments in order to help retain key staff.

Employing about 700 people in Britain, SVB UK is a profitable business but was brought to the brink of collapse last weekend by the travails of its American parent company.

Had it not been acquired solvently, the bonuses would not have been paid this week, according to insiders.

More on Silicon Valley Bank

One pointed out that stock held by senior executives and other employees had been rendered worthless by SVB UK’s near-collapse.

In the US, its banking arm has been taken into government ownership and its holding company, SVB Financial Group, has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks buyers for its other assets.

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Bank rescue ‘to protect UK tech’

Read more:
HSBC boss says decision to buy SVB UK took just five hours
Tech bosses show relief over Silicon Valley Bank rescue
Analysis: The inside story of the codenames and secret talks which led to bank buyout ‘triumph’

Bonuses were also paid to its US staff just hours before the Santa Clara-based bank collapsed, according to reports last week.

An emergency auction in which Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, played a pivotal role drew interest from challenger banks including Oaknorth and The Bank of London.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest lender, struck a deal before markets opened in London on Monday to buy SVB UK for £1.

It was given a waiver from bank ring-fencing rules introduced after the 2008 financial crisis.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, said the rescue had been critical to preserving funding to some of the UK’s most promising start-up companies.

“The UK’s tech sector is genuinely world-leading and of huge importance to the British economy, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he said.

“We have worked urgently to deliver on that promise and find a solution that will provide SVB UK’s customers with confidence.

“[This] ensures customer deposits are protected and can bank as normal, with no taxpayer support.”

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Silicon Valley Bank – what happened?

The government had been lobbied intensively last weekend by hundreds of tech entrepreneurs about the parlous state of SVB UK.

They warned of “an existential threat to the UK tech sector”, adding: “The Bank of England’s assessment that SVB going into administration would have limited impact on the UK economy displays a dangerous lack of understanding of the sector and the role it plays in the wider economy, both today and in the future.”

The founders warned Mr Hunt that the collapse of SVB UK would “cripple the sector and set the ecosystem back 20 years”.

“Many businesses will be sent into involuntary liquidation overnight,” they wrote.

Sky News revealed this week that Ms Platts, who has worked in the lender’s British operations since 2007, would remain in her job following talks with Ian Stuart, the HSBC UK chief executive.

SVB UK’s independent directors, who include chairman Darren Pope, are also expected to stay on under HSBC’s ownership.

That indicates HSBC’s intention to enable the technology-focused lender to operate with some degree of autonomy on an ongoing basis.

However, the Silicon Valley Bank brand may disappear in the UK, depending upon its fate in the US, one insider said.

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The turmoil at SVB has threatened to escalate into a much broader banking crisis, with the Financial Times reporting on Friday evening that UBS is in talks to take over part or all of its Zurich-based peer, Credit Suisse.

In the US, a group of large lenders including Bank of American and JP Morgan provided a $30bn deposit lifeline to First Republic on Thursday.

However, its shares continued to slump on Friday, raising renewed fears for its health.

A spokesman for SVB UK declined to comment on the bonus payments handed out this week.

Half a million trees have died next to one 21-mile stretch of road, National Highways admits | Climate News

The government agency responsible for our main roads, National Highways, has admitted that over half a million trees have died beside a single 21-mile stretch of new carriageway.

They estimate the cost of replanting at £2.9m.

Many tree experts say this is symptomatic of a focus on tree planting over tree care. Only growing trees capture carbon or improve habitat.

The upgrade of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, cost £1.5bn and was opened in 2020.

A number of mature trees were destroyed during construction and planting new ones was part of the development consent order, the permission to build.

National Highways planted 850,000 saplings but three years later, Sky News has seen an internal review that points to ‘an unusually high fatality rate’ and reveals that three-quarters of them have died.

National Highways point to poor soil and extreme heat as the main causes.

National Highways has admitted that over half a million trees have died beside a single 21-mile stretch of new carriageway of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
Sky News visited one of the embankments studded with stakes and tree protection tubes

But these “die-off” figures were compiled before last summer’s record temperatures and it is likely more saplings will have perished in that heatwave.

National Highways, declined to do an interview with Sky News but subsequently did publish a press release admitting “an unusually high failure rate among the planted trees” and added: “Replanting is expected to begin in October with the first batch of 162,000 trees already on order from a local nursery.

“All replanting work will be subject to a five-year establishment period.”

They also told us the cost of replanting will be around £2.9m. That’s taxpayers’ money.

Their internal document suggests the replanting plan will use more mulch to hold water, better tree guards, improved topsoil, and reviewing both the type of tree planted and the sapling’s age.

National Highways told Sky News that the cost of replanting will be around £2.9million.  Their internal document suggests the replanting plan will use more mulch to hold water, better tree guards, improved topsoil, and reviewing both the type of tree planted and the sapling's age.
An internal document suggests the replanting plan by National Highways will use more mulch to hold water, better tree guards, and improved topsoil

Sky News visited one of the embankments studded with stakes and tree protection tubes.

Some had survived but the huge majority held just grass or a dead twig.

Local councillor Edna Murphy has campaigned for National Highways to come clean on the losses and put it right.

“The scale of it really hits you if you go up and down the A14, hundreds of thousands of trees, saplings planted and have just been left to die.

“It was actually the devil’s own job to get information out of National Highways. I tried the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, I tried asking nicely. Nothing worked.”

So she is very pleased that they are now committed to replanting.

Tom Heap gets involved with replanting efforts in Cambridgeshire. For Tom Heap ClimateCast about the death of trees beside the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
Sky News climate presenter Tom Heap meets Carol Honeybun-Kelly, a former head of tree procurement at the Woodland Trust

She said: “They’re just trying really hard now, to get some trees established, which can only be good. But we have to see if they actually do it.”

Listen to more from ClimateCast:
Hydrogen in homes: The village of ‘guinea pigs’
Who’s paying for Britain’s poo problem?

Tree experts we’ve spoken to say the low survival rate of new trees is a national problem and it stems from an obsession with planting numbers, not least at the last election when party leaders and manifestos competed over how many trees they would plant.

Sir William Worsley, is chair of the Forestry Commission and briefly enjoyed the title of the government’s tree champion.

I asked him if enough emphasis was being put on tree care, not just planting.

Click to subscribe to ClimateCast with Tom Heap wherever you get your podcasts

“I mean, the answer is no… to be blunt, I would like to see much more money put into management as well as planting.”

And he acknowledged how crucial tree growth is to our climate goals.

“Very, very important. If we don’t get survival, it’s nothing. If we get surviving trees, planting trees is the most cost-effective way to manage carbon.

“If you look at all the other forms of land use, that’s nothing compared to the benefit of trees. Therefore it’s absolutely essential.”

Across the country, planting rates are also running at less than half the 30,000 hectares per year that was pledged by the Conservatives at the last election.

So fewer saplings than hoped with troubling survival rates. Bad news for our nature and climate aims.

Murderer who confronted Fishmongers’ Hall terror attacker honoured in Queen Elizabeth’s final bravery awards | UK News

A convicted murderer who tackled a terrorist during the 2019 London Bridge attack is among those being awarded for their bravery.

Steven Gallant confronted terrorist Usman Khan as he carried out his attack at a prison education conference at Fishmongers’ Hall.

The attack occurred while Mr Gallant was on licence from prison after being one of two men convicted of killing Barrie Jackson in Hull in 2005.

Khan murdered Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, and injured three other people before running on to London Bridge.

Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday January 7 Handout photo issued by Steve Gallant of himself (left) with Jack Merritt (right, who died in the London Bridge attack) pictured at the end of a Learning Together training course in April 2018. The convicted murderer has revealed how he "did not hesitate" to help fight off a terrorist on London Bridge. PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 7, 2020. Serving prisoner Steve Gallant told how he took on Usman Khan as he embarked on a killing spree armed with two kn
Steve Gallant (L) pictured with Jack Merritt (R) who died in the 2019 attack

Another former prisoner, John Crilly, hosed Khan with a fire extinguisher before communications manager, Darryn Frost, jabbed him with a narwhal tusk, sending him off balance.

This came after a fourth man, Lukasz Koczocik, used a ceremonial long pike taken from the walls of Grade II listed Fishmongers’ Hall to disarm the terrorist.

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Bystanders chase Usman Khan with narwhal tusk

Mr Gallant, Mr Crilly, Mr Frost and Mr Koczocik all feature on this year’s Civilian Gallantry list, the last to be approved by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Prison officer Adam Roberts, who escorted Mr Gallant to the event on day release, also features on the list, having given first aid to Ms Jones after she was stabbed.

Saskia Jones was killed by terrorist Usman Khan
Saskia Jones was killed by terrorist Usman Khan

Read more:
Harrowing accounts of Usman Khan’s deadly rampage
Man who fought off terrorist says authorities have ‘blood on their hands’

Mr Roberts said that it was “really important” for everybody that contributed to be recognised in some way.

He said: “I feel sort of mixed, it’s very difficult to celebrate when it’s for something that had an outcome that was so bad.

“It finished with Saskia literally dying in front of me as we tried to keep her alive, so it’s really difficult to celebrate at all when my thoughts are with her.”

Also on the list is John Rees who was killed as he attempted to stop a mentally ill woman carrying out a knife attack in a Co-op shop in May 2020.

The 88-year-old was stabbed and bludgeoned with two wine bottles and a fire extinguisher during the attack in South Wales.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, said they were all “extremely worthy winners”.

He said: “We all hope we’d react with courage in the face of danger. These people have lived through that test, and responded in the most admirable way.

“Their selfless actions have saved lives, and I want to express profound thanks for their willingness to put themselves in danger to protect others.”

Kyle Walker: Manchester City and England footballer won’t face criminal charge over alleged indecent exposure | UK News

Kyle Walker will not face a criminal charge over an allegation that he indecently exposed himself in a bar, police have confirmed.

The Manchester City and England footballer voluntarily attended a police station for questioning on Thursday following the circulation of a video on social media.

The alleged incident was said to have happened in a bar in Wilmslow, Cheshire, after City’s 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle earlier this month.

Cheshire Police confirmed Walker was given an out of court disposal – meaning he won’t face a criminal charge – and “the matter is now closed”.

In a statement on Friday, the force told Sky News: “On Wednesday 8 March, Cheshire Constabulary was made aware of a video circulating on social media in relation to an alleged incident at a bar in the Wilmslow area.

“Officers have now concluded their enquiries which included speaking to those directly involved.

“A 32-year-old man from Prestbury voluntarily attended a police station for questioning on 16 March.

“He has been dealt with by an out of court disposal and the matter is now closed.”

NHS pay rises will cost £4bn and will be funded from ‘areas of underspending’, govt says | Politics News

The government needs to find £4bn in spare cash to fund NHS pay rises, with some of it coming from “areas of underspend”.

The one-off payment offered to frontline workers on Thursday will cost £2.7bn, Downing Street has said, while the 5% pay rise will cost £1.3bn.

A 3.5% pay increase had already been factored into the existing budget before a new deal was put to health unions, leaving ministers scrambling to find the rest.

Asked where the money will come from, the PM’s spokesperson said “areas of underspending” had been identified.

They did not go into specifics but added “we will discuss with Treasury and work together to resolve any new funding needs”.

Pressed on the source of the funding again, they said the money is “not coming from patient-facing services”.

Ministers previously said they can’t afford to give striking NHS workers a pay rise because the money would have to be taken out of the existing NHS budget – which was not considered an option at a time of record-high waiting lists.

But there was a major breakthrough on Thursday as the government and unions reached a new deal that could herald the end of industrial action across most of the health service.

The offer consists of a one-off payment of 2% of their salary plus a COVID recovery bonus of 4% for the current financial year 2022/23, and a 5% pay increase for 2023/24.

Workers on the picket line outside Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham during a strike by nurses and ambulance staff. Picture date: Monday February 6, 2023.
The government has insisted the pay deal to end strikes won’t come out of the budget for patient services

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said it will apply to thousands of key workers including nurses, paramedics and midwives but could not say how the rise would be funded.

When questioned on this he deferred to the Treasury, saying only that it “would not come from areas of the budget that impact on patients”.

The prime minister gave a similar answer when pressed during a visit to a south London hospital on whether patient care would be hit, saying: “Absolutely not. We’re going to be making sure we protect all frontline services with £14bn of more funding we announced at the end of last year.”

Unions have recommended members vote for the pay rise, and have agreed to pause industrial action during that process.

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Junior doctors have welcomed pay talks with the Health Secretary and are ‘hopeful’ the dispute can be resolved to avert further strikes.

Tens of thousands of nurses, paramedics and other healthcare staff went on strike just before Christmas, then again in January and February, leading to the cancellation of around 140,000 appointments and operations.

Labour have criticised the government for delays in getting around the negotiating table, with shadow health secretary Wes Streeting branding his government counterpart “ Steve Barclay”.

Speaking to Sky News, he accused the health secretary of “having cheek” by deferring questions on how the pay rise will be funded to the Treasury, adding: “Newsflash Steve Barclay, the budget was yesterday.

“If he pulled his finger out before Christmas and negotiated a deal, not only would we have avoided the strike action and the 140,000 cancelled operations and appointments, he might have got a better deal for the NHS.”

The breakthrough has sparked hopes of resolving other long-running industrial disputes, with the government and education unions beginning “intensive” talks today on pay and conditions.

Asked whether an offer to teachers could look similar to the NHS deal, the PM’s spokesperson stressed that each pay offer is “unique”, and the two-pronged agreement is “specific to the work NHS staff have done”.

Asked if that recognition will apply to junior doctors, who are embroiled in a separate dispute, the spokesperson said: “We want talks to start as soon as possible but its dependent on them cancelling or pausing strikes. As soon as they pause strike action we can have talks.”

Footballers at increased risk of developing dementia, study finds | World News

Footballers are one and a half times more likely to develop dementia than the general population, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Sweden compared the health records of 6,007 elite male football players – of which 510 were goalkeepers – with 56,168 non-footballers between 1924 and 2019.

The team, from the Karolinska Institutet and other research centres, have published their study in the respected peer-reviewed medical journal, The Lancet.

It found 9% of the footballers included were diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease, compared with 6% (3,485 out of 56,168) of the control sample.

There was no significant risk increase for footballers of contracting motor neurone disease, according to the study.

The risk of Parkinson’s disease and overall mortality was also lower among football players compared to other people, the researchers found.

The academics behind the study suggested this might be “because of maintaining good physical fitness from frequently playing football”.

The study also compared the risk of neurodegenerative disease among outfield players to goalkeepers. It found outfield players had a 1.4 times higher risk of neurodegenerative disease compared to goalkeepers.

Peter Ueda, assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet, said: “Goalkeepers rarely head the ball, unlike outfield players, but are exposed to similar environments and lifestyles during their football careers and perhaps also after retirement.

“It has been hypothesised that repetitive mild head trauma sustained through heading the ball is the reason football players are at increased risk, and it could be that the difference in neurodegenerative disease risk between these two types of players supports this theory.”

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In recent years, there have been growing concerns about exposure to head trauma in football and whether it can lead to an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease later in life.

A previous study from Scotland suggested that footballers were 3.5 times more likely to develop neurodegenerative disease.

Following this evidence, certain footballing associations implemented measures to reduce heading in younger age groups and training settings.

Mr Ueda added: “While the risk increase in our study is slightly smaller than in the previous study from Scotland, it confirms that elite footballers have a greater risk of neurogenerative disease later in life.

“As there are growing calls from within the sport for greater measures to protect brain health, our study adds to the limited evidence base and can be used to guide decisions on how to manage these risks.”

The Football Association is currently trialling banning children under the age of 12 from heading the ball in grassroots leagues and competitions in England.

Gene mutation which increases risk of breast and ovarian cancer linked to Orkney islands | UK News

A gene mutation which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer has been linked to people with Orkney heritage.

Scientists from the universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh have found that one in one hundred people with grandparents from the islands off the north-eastern coast of Scotland, have a mutation of the gene BRCA1.

It is likely the gene variant came from one of the founding members of Westray – an Orkney island which has a population of under 600 people – at least 250 years ago, according to the research.

The gene mutation was repeatedly spotted in women from Orkney who have the cancers, most of whom could also trace their family ancestry back to the small island of Westray.

As a result of the findings, planning is under way to offer free testing for the gene variant to anyone living on the Scottish islands with a Westray-born grandparent, regardless of their family history with the disease.

Professor Zosia Miedzybrodzka, director of NHS North of Scotland Genetic Service, made it clear that developing cancer is not solely down to carrying the BRCA1 variant alone.

What is a BRCA1 gene?

Genes are found in every cell in our body. They enable bodies to grow and function correctly.

BRCA1 is a tumour suppressor gene that helps to protect us from developing cancer, according to the NHS.

A variation can affect the function of the gene. This can increase the chance of developing breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, which is more likely to occur at a younger age.

A person’s genes can be examined from a blood sample. However, currently, it is usually only offered to families with a strong history of cancers.

Everyone has the BRCA genes, but not everyone has mutations in them.

“There are many complex factors, and some people with gene alterations will not get cancer,” Prof Miedzybrodzka said. “However, we know that testing and the right follow-up can save lives.”

Read more:
NHS unions reach pay deal after government offers 5% rise

Gonorrhoea cases rise by over a fifth
Family receives payout after baby burned at Aberdeen nursery

She recommended things like risk-reducing surgery, breast screening with MRI from the age of 30 and lifestyle advice to improve the health of women with the gene mutation.

Awareness of the faulty gene was raised when Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy a decade ago, after losing her mother to ovarian cancer and then discovering she had a BRCA1 variant.

The NHS recommends talking to your GP if cancer runs in the family, or if you are worried about your own risk. They may refer you for a genetics test, which will tell you if you have inherited one of the cancer risk genes.

Gonorrhoea cases rise by over a fifth on pre-pandemic levels | UK News

The number of gonorrhoea cases in the UK has risen by more than a fifth on pre-pandemic levels. 

Provisional data published shows that diagnoses of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) from January to September 2022 were higher than the same nine-month period in each of the last three years.

In the first nine months of last year, 56,327 gonorrhoea cases were diagnosed – up from 46,541 cases from January to September 2019.

People aged between 15 and 24 years are the most likely to be diagnosed with STIs due to changing sexual partners more often than other age groups.

Though STIs are usually easily treated with antibiotics, some can cause serious health issues including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.

The UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has urged people to wear a condom and get tested regularly if having sex with new or casual partners.

Typical symptoms of gonorrhoea include a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when urinating, pain and discomfort in the rectum and lower abdominal pain and bleeding between periods in those with a uterus or ovaries.

But often, people infected with gonorrhoea will have no symptoms.

Dr Katy Sinka, consultant epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: “Condoms aren’t just about preventing unwanted pregnancy; they are the main defence against STIs.

“If you have had condom-less sex with a new or casual partner, it is even more important to get tested to detect any potential infections early and prevent passing them on to others.

Read more on Sky News:
Safe sex text messaging service failed to cut STIs
Concern over online STI tests which ‘put users at risk’

Dr Claire Dewsnap, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said: “The rise in gonorrhoea cases provides an important reminder of the importance of testing for STIs and wearing a condom every time you have sex.

“By getting tested at least once a year, regardless of whether you’re showing symptoms, you can help minimise the risk of catching or passing on STIs when having sex.

“Delaying access to the right care and treatment also risks developing longer-term problems which can be more difficult to address.”

Leila Borrington: Woman who filmed stepson, 3, as he lay dying from brain injury jailed for 15 years | UK News

A woman who filmed her three-year-old stepson as he lay dying from a brain injury has been jailed for 15 years for manslaughter, assault and causing grievous bodily harm.

Leila Borrington, 23, was handed the jail sentence at Nottingham Crown Court today in relation to three-year-old Harvey Borrington’s death in Nottinghamshire in August 2021.

Mr Justice Nicklin said while passing sentence that Harvey’s death must have been the result of a “sustained violent assault”.

The judge also said that the unlawful killing of the three-year-old, who had severe non-verbal autism, had had a profound effect on his loved ones.

The stepmother, from Jacksdale, Nottinghamshire, was cleared of murder but found guilty of unlawful killing, wounding and assault last month.

The month long-trial heard Harvey had sustained a fatal head injury.

Text messages sent by Ms Borrington after she had broken Harvey’s arm in April 2021 showed “a shocking lack of care and concern” for the child, the judge noted.

Budget leaves household incomes stagnant and people paying more taxes despite public service cuts, Resolution Foundation says | Politics News

Jeremy Hunt’s budget leaves household incomes stagnant and people paying higher taxes despite cuts to public services, the Resolution Foundation has said.

The thinktank, which aims to improve the standard of living for low and middle-income families, said the chancellor had announced an “impressively broad suite of policies” to encourage more people into work.

However, it said: “Britain’s economy remains stuck in a deep funk – with people supported into work but getting poorer, and paying more tax but seeing public services cut.”

Click here for our budget calculator to see if you are better or worse off

Here are the key findings of the Foundation’s budget analysis.

Beating the odds on a recession

The UK is forecast to have gone through “the biggest energy and inflation shock since the 1970s, while avoiding a recession, with unemployment peaking at just 4.4%,” the Foundation said.

It compared it to the mid-1970s energy shock which saw a recession with a 3.9 peak-to-trough fall in GDP.

A decline in living standards

However, RF pointed to a “disastrous decline in living standards”, with typical real household disposable incomes on track to remain lower by the end of the forecast in 2027-28 than they were before the pandemic.

“If even the slow growth of the past decade had continued, incomes would still be £1,800 higher than currently projected for 2027-28,” it said.

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Key moments from Hunt’s first budget

Taxes on track to hit 70-year high

RF said taxes as a share of GDP are on track to hit 37.7% by the end of the forecast, a 70-year-high and a 4.7% increase since 2019-20, the equivalent to nearly an extra £4,200 for every UK household.

It said despite this the chancellor only has a quarter of the average fiscal headroom of his three predecessors and would not meet the fiscal targets set by Rishi Sunak, Philip Hammond or George Osborne when they were chancellor.

Help for parents

The analysis notes the budget includes the biggest increase in childcare support on record, which it said would encourage more parents to work and make it worthwhile for many to work longer.

RF said under the current childcare system, a single parent of a one-year-old earning the National Living Wage would see their income fall after childcare costs by £370 if they moved from 25 to 35 hours of work a week.

However, under the new system, the same single parent would receive an income boost of £700.

The RF said the richest fifth of households are set to gain £180 on average from the extra childcare entitlement, compared to £130 for the middle fifth of households and £20 for the bottom fifth.

More on Budget 2023:
The key points of the budget at a glance

‘An unneeded tax break for wealthy pension savers’

The report was critical of the chancellor raising the annual allowance and scrapping the lifetime allowance for tax-free saving, which it said cost around £1.2bn and were expected to increase employment by 15,000 – a cost of around £80,000 per extra worker.

However, the Foundation said “even those employment gains may be overstated, given that giving very large wealth boosts will actually encourage some people to retire earlier than they otherwise would have done”.

It said someone with a £2m pension pot will have received a tax cut of almost £250,000.


RF said the chancellor had chosen to “ignore pressures on public services”, even though unprotected departments face 10% cuts to real day-to-day spending per capita by the end of the budget, raising to 14% if the newly announced aspiration to raise defence spending to 2.5% of GDP is met over the next parliament.

An investment ‘roller-coaster’

The Foundation said the £28bn three-year increase in investment allowances represents the fifth major corporate tax change in two years, which it said illustrated “the lack of certainty that has frustrated businesses”.

It said: “The policy will deliver a temporary 3% boost to investment, when what Britain actually needs is a permanent 30% boost to catch up with our competitors (France, Germany and the US).”

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‘UK’s underlying challenges remain largely unchanged’

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: “Jeremy Hunt’s first budget was a much bigger affair than many expected, combining improvements to the dire economic and fiscal outlook with a significant policy package aimed at boosting longer-term growth in general, and the size of the workforce in particular.

“A step change in childcare support stands out.

“But stepping back, the UK’s underlying challenges remain largely unchanged.

“We are investing too little and growing too slowly. Our citizens’ living standards are stagnant. We ask them to pay higher taxes, while cutting public services.

“No one budget could turn that around, but it’s time Britain did.”