LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a spending splurge to ward off the economic effects of coronavirus in his maiden budget on Wednesday, ditching the taunting preferred by his predecessors in favour of an earnest tone more in tune with worrying times.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds the budget box outside his office in Downing Street in London, Britain March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Sunak, a 39-year old former Goldman Sachs banker, became Chancellor of the Exchequer in chaotic circumstances last month when predecessor Sajid Javid unexpectedly resigned over a demand by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he sack his team of advisors.
That thrust Sunak, who backed Brexit, into Britain’s second highest political office at a time of heightened uncertainty over the country’s future relationship with the European Union and a burgeoning global crisis over the impact of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, he stood up in parliament to warn of a significant but temporary impact on the British economy.
“I know how worried people are, worried about their health, the health of their loved ones, their jobs, their income, their businesses, their financial security,” he told lawmakers.
“And I know they get even more worried when they turn