Thursday 9th March 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sun_95046868_sun

Topic of article: Politics; Economics

Headline:  Spite Van Man

Author(s): Tom Newton Dunn (Political Editor)

Analysis: The article criticises the Chancellor’s budget and is clearly unimpressed by Hammond and his “£240 raid on self-employed.”  More than that, the article implies that no-one agrees with the changes made as they “sparked a national wave of fury” and “stunned Tory MPs” and doesn’t provide justification for Hammond’s move further than “a social care cash injection.”  The article makes clear that the victims of the budget are the “self-employed strivers” and “entrepreneurs” and there is only one sentence on the context of why some cuts may have to be made, referring to the “Brexit showdown.” No specific source is given for the amount of money that will be cut or how it was calculated.

The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article:  Politics; Economics

Headline: Hammond falls into tax trap

Author(s): Larry Elliot (Economics Editor); Heather Stewart (Joint Political Editor)

Analysis: The article presents criticism of Phillip Hammond’s budget, particularly the rise in National Insurance Contributions (NIC)  for the self-employed and breaking of Conservative promises. The assault on the new budget focuses on contrasting the conservative government “vows” – such as no increases to NIC until 2020 – and describing what appears to be the opposite occurring. Moreover the article quotes Tim Farron, John McDonnell and two former Conservative ministers who are all critical of the budget and other provides Hammond’s own comments in support the changes. The article may also be providing a comment on the almost farcical nature of British politics with National Insurance being used by both major parties to criticise one another. The paper also includes a what the budget means for you section as part of its analysis, as does The Times.

Daily Mail_95046870_mail

Topic of article: Politics; Economics

Headline: No laughing matter

Author(s): Jason Groves (Political Editor)

Analysis: The article is highly critical of the new budget and how it was presented to parliament by the Chancellor. The article is very direct to the readers about them being directly disadvantaged by the new budget and describes those who would particularly lose out as “savers and the self-employed.” The impression of Hammond is a cruel and deceptive individual, even disapproved of by fellow Conservatives, who laughed whilst “penalising enterprise and thrift.” The article also undermines the justification for the changes – using the word “claimed” to imply that using this money for “investment in social care, education and infrastructure” may not be valid enough. It is also interesting to compare statistics with other papers – with the Mail claiming $4.6 billion would be taken from the National Insurance payments whereas the Times headline is “£2bn tax raid” and no specific sources are cited in the article.


The Times_95046866_times

Topic of article: Politics; Economics

Headline: Hammond’s £2bn tax raid

Author(s): Francis Elliot (Political Editor); Michael Savage (Chief Political Correspondent)

Analysis: The article presents both positives and negatives of the budget but overall gives the impression of it launching a “tax raid on Britain’s entrepreneurs.” This article appears less one-sided than that of the Guardian coverage regarding the NIC changes as it makes effort to provide the justification that the “influential think tank” Resolution Foundation had for the NIC changes  such as it targeting higher earners who were becoming self-employed rather than those earning less. However there is significant criticism of Hammond regarding the previous 2015 Conservative “commitment” being broken,  “Tory MPs and ministers expressed dismay” and including that there are also plans to enact cuts that will affect “400,000 pensioners.” There are a number of statistics in the article, from various sources, and therefore it is quite unclear whether this is good or bad for the “white van man” and/or their readers though the paper has a 12-page supplement that may make this clearer.


Front page images from: BBC The Papers (  and Kiokso (

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards



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