THE UK Budget is normally an extremely secretive affair where the opposition benches only get sight of what it contains as the Chancellor is delivering it, but this time most of the big-ticket items were leaked ahead of time.

It is so unusual for us to have seen so much of the Budget that Speaker Lindsay Hoyle gave Boris Johnson a bit of side-eye during Prime Minister’s Questions, cutting him off as he said the Budget was about to be released by saying: “I think I already know most of it”.

It’s usual, dull Westminster nonsense, but that kind of scolding from the Speaker is rare and emphasises just how odd this Budget rollout has been.

Rishi Sunak has spent his time as Chancellor trying to cultivate an image of himself as a cool, chill dude who you can trust because he’s just like you. See his collaborations with LADbible, and the really odd video he put out on Twitter last week – presumably paid for by the taxpayer since there was HM Treasury branding plastered all over the thing – as examples of this.

However, once you look at this Budget, you can see by the policy, that despite being a “lad”, he’s still a Tory.

It isn’t all bad, so I’ll start with the good. The furlough scheme has been extended until September. That’s welcome because while we’re on track to start getting back to normal much sooner than that, there’s no telling what will happen.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak slated over his ‘return to austerity’ Budget

Uncertainty around the continuation of support causes huge distress (as was the case when the furlough scheme was due to end the last time). The Chancellor has also extended the £20 uplift to Universal Credit until then, too.

This uplift really needs to just be made permanent. Universal Credit was never high enough, it left people struggling and in rent arrears and the uplift is the greatest example that the Government has always known this. The Trussell Trust called the six-month extension “delayed hardship” and I really don’t think anyone could put it any better.

Now, on to the negatives. First of all, Brexit made no appearance in the Budget at all. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says the Brexit deal we have will cut the country’s productivity by 4% in the long run and that exports have been hit harder than imports. Businesses which operate in the EU need help and the Chancellor has ignored them.

Next, we have the corporation tax rise. Now, you’ll never hear me complaining about taxes going up for corporations or rich people. They don’t pay nearly enough and given the battering our economy is taking, it’s good to finally see them be asked to help deal with it, rather than forcibly squeezing every penny you can from the worst off.

However, the delay of this until 2023 screams of “we’re saying we’re going to do this to score points but once the economy improves a bit as we re-open we’ll scrap it and say it’s not necessary”. I hope I’m wrong.

Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and other big companies have seen their value increase drastically throughout the pandemic and it’s correct that they should pay more.

Then there’s the lack of a decent pay rise for public-sector workers. These are people we call essential workers. Our country cannot function without these people getting up and going to work. After the year they’ve had, the least the Chancellor could have done is give them a decent pay rise.

READ MORE: Budget provokes questions over what happens after the Covid pandemic

An increase to the National “Living Wage” was announced, going from £8.72 to £8.91 (for people aged 25 and up). Calling this tier of the minimum wage a “living wage” has always been a particularly rotten bit of marketing from the Tories. The Living Wage Foundation calculates that the real living wage is to be £9.50 an hour, so even after this rise the Chancellor is still 59p per hour short.

It also remains senseless that younger people working the same jobs have lower minimum wages. The minimum wage for 16 and 17-year-olds is going to the shockingly low £4.62 per hour. Everyone doing the same job – taking away rises for things like years of service etc – should be paid the same.

The idea that younger people in the workplace are less valuable than older people has always been ridiculous and it remains so.

This Budget also ignores the state of the environment which alongside the pandemic, are the greatest challenges we face. You cannot address social inequality without tackling climate issues.

Despite all the advertising this is still very much a Budget of austerity and delayed hardship dressed up in some cool lad clothes.