Our Director Michael’s thoughts on yesterday’s budget (And what it means for the North East…)

Michael Grayson is a Director at Solutions Recruitment, one of the North East’s leading recruitment specialists with its headquarters in Newcastle and offices in Middlesbrough and the Midlands.

“This was a headline grabbing budget to appeal to the masses, with the sugar tax to pay for extra sport and longer school days, and incentives to encourage people to save.

But it was a smokescreen to side-track us from the real story: both economic growth and productivity are down and debt’s rising. This leaves Britain extremely vulnerable if there’s another global economic downturn.

My feeling is we could see a second recession, possibly after the summer when the outcome of the EU referendum is known. I don’t think it will be as bad as last time, but it may mean job losses and already struggling businesses failing.

Overall, I thought the Chancellor used the Budget to put forward his case for the EU, which was wrong. The uncertainty over whether the vote will be for a Brexit is possibly why economic growth has stalled. Yet Osborne failed to announce anything to boost investment.

And with the news that the National Minimum Wage is going up, it’s putting even more pressure on business. It means people will hold off recruiting and there could be redundancies.

It’s good news that we can expect relief on business rates, cuts in capital gains tax and a further corporation tax reduction in a few years’ time. But given the state of the economy I am uncertain as to how this is going to be paid for if the Chancellor hopes to push the economy back in the black by the next election.

I wanted to hear what his plans were for the North East. But there was very little that will help the region. The HS3 rail link between Manchester and Leeds got the nod. But it’s just another sign of how Westminster seems to think the North ends at Manchester.

Once again the North East has been left to do everything itself, as we always are.”