Jeremy Hunt has delivered his first budget as chancellor, with headline-grabbing announcements around childcare and pensions.
The chancellor appointed his budget to address immediate concerns around the rising cost of living as well as setting out a longer-term plan for growth and investment.
Here, Sky News runs you through the reaction.
Responding to calls from his own MPs to make childcare more affordable and help parents back into work, Mr Hunt announced 30 hours of free childcare per week for children aged over nine months with working parents by September 2025.
He also committed to increasing funding for nurseries providing free childcare to £288m.
Joeli Brearley, the founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, welcomed the chancellor’s increased funding for childcare, telling Sky News she was “really pleased” to see a “significant investment” in the childcare sector.
“We are so happy,” she said. “It will make an enormous difference to parents who were really struggling to afford those eye-watering fees.”
However, she warned there was still concern that carers are leaving the industry “in droves”, and that waiting lists are “out of control”.
Pension and childcare changes go further than expected – budget live updates
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, also told Sky News he was not “overly enamored” with Mr Hunt’s childcare plans.
“I have to say we have serious concerns,” he said. “The chancellor announced new childcare, but we have problems with the existing system.
“It’s one thing for one-year-olds and two-year-olds to be adequately funded, but we have such a massive shortfall in the existing three and four-year-old sector that frankly, we have relied on the one-year -olds and the two-year-olds to effectively prop up the short payment that came from government.”
By far the most eye-catching of Mr Hunt’s announcements was that, rather than just increasing the pensions lifetime allowance, it would be scrapped completely.
He also extended the pensions annual tax-free allowance from £40,000 to £60,000.
The chancellor said he had decided to make the pension changes following warnings from senior NHS clinicians that unpredictable pension tax charges were forcing them to leave the NHS early “just when they are needed most”.
Raj Mody, global head of pensions at PwC, called the scrapping of the lifetime allowance a “really sensible decision”.
He said: “This is the most radical reform to the system since it was first introduced, and is a welcome simplification. It would now be good to see a commitment to avoid yo-yoing about with the new Annual Allowance threshold.”
But Labor leader Keir Starmer immediately hit out at the plans, arguing that “the only permanent tax cut in the budget is for the richest 1%”.
And Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director Paul Johnson said a “serious long term strategy” on pension tax policy was “completely missing”.
Another announcement that was heavily trailed before Mr Hunt’s statement was extending support for energy bills until July.
The chancellor confirmed that the energy price guarantee would remain at its current level for a further three months.
But Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, called the support “meagre.”
The party said the government’s decision to freeze income tax thresholds will lead to a “tax bombshell” of £12bn in 2023-24 – superseding the £3bn cost of in extending the price guarantee by three months.
Jeremy Hunt’s challenge is whether voters will feel the benefits fast enough
Budget Q&A: When do pension and childcare changes start?
Public sector pay
On the same day that Mr Hunt delivered his budget, hundreds of thousands of striking workers marched through London to protest against pay and working conditions.
The Fire Brigades Union said the chancellor had “stuck up two fingers to workers with this budget”.
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Ministers have sounded like a broken record, insisting the country can’t afford to pay key workers more.
“Yet, in a flourish, there’s cash for another fuel duty freeze, tax cuts for those who need them least, and no action to curb the mega-profits of the oil and gas giants. But not a dickie bird on public sector pay. “