Good morning. Here’s this morning’s Lowdown.
* * *
Budget 2016: The sugar crash
George Osborne has been known for pulling a rabbit out of the hat during his previous Budgets, but with the sugar tax he displayed another magic trick – the sleight of hand.
Osborne’s sugar levy announcement grabbed most of this morning’s newspaper headlines, and in doing so, deflected attention away from spending cuts. The ‘sugar tax’ will be introduced in two years’ time in an effort to reduce childhood obesity. The chancellor expects the levy to raise £520m a year, which will be spent on funding primary school sport.
TV chef Jamie Oliver, who led the sugar tax campaign, celebrated the news on Twitter.
We did it guys !!we did it !!! A sugar levy on sugary sweetened drinks ...... A profound move… https://t.co/0XkydLzLCo
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) March 16, 2016
The Independent was not as enthused: “Osborne’s centrepiece announcement could do little to deflect from the grim economic news that accompanied the Budget," they said .
* * *
Community reacts to the Budget
Yesterday, AccountingWEB member Ireallyshouldknow… searched Any Answers for some “good moans” concerning the Budget, but was disappointed when they couldn’t find a “rambling Budget thread”.
I Reallyshouldknow… flagged up a couple of consultations, one on IR35 and the other on Landlords, but concluded: “Just like everyone else I have been reading this tosh for the past 7 hours and I am right fed up with it.”
What did you think of the Budget? Have you found any nasty surprises after scouring the consultations last night?
* * *
US probe causes Toshiba’s shares to plunge
The US authorities are investigating Toshiba to discover whether fraud was committed after the technology company hid £1.3bn in losses.
According to Bloomberg, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s investigation has resulted in Toshiba seeing its shares fall as much as 8%.
Yukihiko Shimada, a Tokyo-based analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc, told Bloomberg: “The markets are very sensitive to any news of impropriety. Toshiba has previously assured investors that everything was right at Westinghouse. Their track record isn’t great.”
* * *