Claire McCarthy Former General Secretary 16th March 2016 Blog News releases Westminster Economy Share Tweet Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. It is always difficult to make a snap judgement on a Budget because so much of the devil can be in the Red Book detail. But it is hard to see that today’s Budget will do anything to create an economy where the gains from the hard work of hard working people are more evenly shared; or that the Chancellor has a real plan to increase productivity. We needed a budget which set out a plan for a prosperous Britain shared by all. A budget for a new, shared economy should have included measures to drive up productivity through greater employee ownership and employee engagement coupled with profit sharing. It would have ensured real diversity in the ownership of financial services and new measures to ensure banks fairly serve families and businesses in all communities. And it would have made it easier for successful companies, particularly SMEs, to raise the money they need to flourish and create more jobs. It doesn’t appear that the Budget will lead to meaningful progress in these areas. It is good to hear reference to Community Housing Trusts, as too often the potential of co-owned and co-operative housing models are overlooked. There are good lessons to be learned from community land trusts, particularly in the South West, and it is positive that the Chancellor has recognised this. Finally, we wait to see the detail of the education announcement later in the week but the Co-operative Party will ensure that the voice of more than 800 locally accountable Co-operative trust schools are heard if the mass academisation of English schools is to take place as proposed.