Great Britain

The winners and losers of Rishi Sunak’s Budget as TV characters

HOMER Simpson says cheers – but Victor Meldrew is as miserable as ever. They are a couple of verdicts on Rishi Sunak’s Budget this week.

Now a host of TV characters help us to understand who will benefit from changes . . . and who won’t.


Furloughed staff

Sam Dingle

The Emmerdale troublemaker, played by James Hooton, has been on furlough and is among millions who could get another six months’ pay at 80 per cent of their usual wage.

But from July, baddie boss Kim Tate must pay ten per cent of it.

The self-employed

Albert Arkwright

Ronnie Barker’s shopkeeper Albert Arkwright in Open All Hours could have cashed in, as State aid for the self-employed was expanded.

Now 600,000 who became self-employed since April 2019 can claim 80 per cent of their average earnings.

High Street

Martine Deveraux

Hollyoaks’ Price Slice store boss Martine (Kelle Bryan) will breathe a sigh of relief after £5billion was reserved for High Street shops.

Grants of up to £6,000 are available for non-essential retail, with £18,000 for a hospitality and leisure business.


Dick Dastardly

Wacky Races cartoon baddies Dick Dastardly and Muttley can burn through tanks of petrol, knowing it won’t cost them a penny more in tax than in 2010.

Britain’s motorists will benefit with fuel duty frozen for the 11th year in a row.

Sports players

Roy of the Rovers

Comic hero Roy is going for the big time as the Treasury stumped up almost £3million to bid for the UK to host the 2030 World Cup.

For amateur soccer, there’s also £25million, a £1million local club grant scheme, plus £300million to aid cricket, tennis and racing.

Benefits claimants

Frank Gallagher

The Shameless character, played by David Threlfall, will sign on with a smirk after Rishi gave a boost to benefits claimants.

Feckless Frank will also raise a glass to the extension of the £20-a-week Covid payment to Universal Credit claimants for another six months.

Beer drinkers

Homer Simpson

Beer fans like Homer can spend less d’oh, as pubs’ alcohol duty has been frozen, with VAT on booze cut to five per cent for another six months.

Communities can also team up to apply for a £250,000 grant to run their local pub.


Max Branning

EastEnders love rat Max has upped sticks from Walford – and homebuyers doing the same will be quids in after the Stamp Duty holiday was extended until September.

You can also move with a deposit as low as five per cent, thanks to a new scheme.



David Brent

Workers like The Office’s David (Ricky Gervais) will pay more income tax in coming years as the starting rates for 20p tax and 40p tax will be frozen at £12,570 and £50,270 for five years while wages will rise.

Public sector staff

Charlie Fairhead

NHS staff such as Charlie (Derek Thompson) in Casualty face a miserable one per cent pay rise – despite a year fighting Covid.

And there was no pay rise for the other 1.3 million public sector workers.


Del Boy Trotter

Watch out, Del. The taxman is after dodgy dealers like Peckham’s favourite fiddler of the books in the classic sitcom Only Fools And Horses, played by David Jason.

There are 1,000 new HMRC staff to target fraud, and they are focusing on businesses which made false claims for Covid grants.


Victor Meldrew

Victor will be even more grumpy as the pension tax savings threshold was frozen for five years, so more people will pay tax.

And the inheritance tax threshold was also frozen at £325,000 until 2026.

Big business

Willy Wonka

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’s Wonka Industries is among big firms facing a rise in corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent from 2023.

But firms with profits under £50,000 will still pay 19 per cent.

Post-Covid Britain to surge into roaring 2020s with fastest economic growth since WW2

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