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On 8 July 2015, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, presented his Budget statement to the House of Commons. This was the first Budget from a Conservative majority government since Ken Clarke delivered his last in 1996. Introducing the Budget, the Chancellor stated: 

From a one nation Government, this is a one nation Budget that takes the necessary steps and follows a sensible path for the benefit of the whole of the United Kingdom.

The Chancellor announced a range of measures which included proposals on: improving Britain’s productivity; maintaining the rate of budget deficit reduction; changes to the fiscal rules; changes to welfare; and the introduction of a national living wage.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) also published its latest economic forecasts to accompany the Budget statement. In these forecasts, the OBR announced that the estimate for GDP growth in 2014 was at 3.0 percent, revised up from the 2.6 percent estimated in March 2015. However, the OBR revised down its growth estimate for 2015 from the 2.5 percent forecast in March, to 2.4 percent, while the GDP growth forecast for 2016 remained at 2.3 percent, unchanged since March.

Responding to the proposals set out in the Chancellor’s Budget statement, Members of the House of Commons and commentators outside of Parliament considered the implications of the measures, including the impact they would have on employment and productivity in the United Kingdom, on families’ earnings and income, and on businesses.

This Library Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures. The Note then outlines the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. The Note does not provide a detailed examination of all the policies announced in the Budget statement. For a detailed analysis of the key Budget policy proposals, please see the House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Summer Budget 2015: A Summary.


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