UK

Newspaper review: Mixed reaction to Budget

Papers

Alongside the headline "the laddie's not for turning", the Daily Mail has a bizarre picture of Chancellor George Osborne morphed into Margaret Thatcher.

The paper believes the chancellor seized the mantle of Baroness Thatcher on Wednesday and unveiled measures "aimed at restoring the aspiration nation of the Tory 1980s".

It was a good budget, decides the paper, with a clear sense of direction.

The Daily Express believes the budget is a boost for millions. "Cheers," declares its front page headline, as it welcomes the news of cheaper beer.

But the Guardian reports that an embattled Mr Osborne tempered fresh gloom on the economy with mainstream crowd pleasers such as one penny off a pint of beer, further freezes in fuel duty and lifting the personal tax allowance.

Fudge-it Budget

Like the Guardian, the Independent talks of "a drown-your-sorrows Budget".

For the Daily Mirror, it was "the fudge-it Budget" which offered precisely nothing - apart from a "whopping" penny off a pint of beer.

The Daily Star says that is small beer.

The Sun sarcastically rejoices at the prospect of a recovery "just around the corner" - in 2018.

The Daily Telegraph and the Times agree that George Osborne is pinning his hopes on a housing boom.

The Times describes a scheme to help to guarantee home loans as "risky" while the Telegraph considers the move to be overtly political.

The Financial Times comments that first there was a right to buy, now there is a right to default.

£18m windfall

The Guardian and the Mail publish pictures of the Barclays investment banker, Rich Ricci, with his winning horse at last year's Cheltenham Festival.

The Guardian says an £18m windfall from the bank means that this year he has more to celebrate.

The Express says Barclays has been accused of burying bad news by revealing large payouts to executives on the day of the Budget.

The Independent talks of the news being "smuggled" out in an announcement less than two hours after the chancellor had finished delivering his Budget speech.

The Telegraph and the Times report that the Archbishop of Canterbury has invited Peter Tatchell to a meeting to discuss his attitude to gay marriage.

The invitation comes in response to an open letter written by the human rights campaigner which accuses the Most Rev Justin Welby of being homophobic.

'Commendable' response

The Telegraph notes a stark contrast to the relationship between gay rights groups and previous archbishops.

Mr Tatchell has described the response to his letter as "commendable", according to the Times.

"I am cruelly used, nobody feels for my poor nerves", Mrs Bennet opines in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813.

"I should have been more careful," says a father after killing a man who held a knife to his son's throat in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, published in 2006.

The Times uses the quotes to illustrate how a study of five million books has found a marked decline in the use of emotive words in British books.

The Telegraph says British literature has become less emotional over the past 50 years as fewer tumultuous events have struck society.

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