React: Here’s How Twitter is Preparing for #Budget2015

Politics and economics aficionados rejoice!

It’s that magical moment that happens just once every four years.

The first budget of a new Parliament descends on us like a stale smelling work and pensions report. Anticipation of cuts, savings, allowances and subsidies whips hundreds of online commentators into a frenzy.

As always, we’re sifting through the dirt and stacking it into equally foul-smelling piles.

First, the predictions…

Tweets are hitting over 150 per minute at the moment – and that keep rising.

We’ve looked at 37,000 Tweets this morning, and collated what people think will be on the agenda.

1. Welfare – £12bn of savings have to come from somewhere, and Osborne usually likes to start with welfare and tax credits. It’s likely the child tax credit will be reduced for new parents.

2. Sunday Trading Laws – Shopping hours on the last day of the week are set to be increased, as Osborne bring brick-and-mortar stores closer to the 24-hour consumer.

3. Housing – The Conservative party made a lot of their house building and home ownership plans leading up to the election.

4. Student Maintenance – Today’s briefing indicated the chancellor plans to remove student maintenance grants, replacing them with loans (like tuition fees).

5. Income Tax – An election pledge, Osborne should be increasing the lowest tax threshold, taking the minimum wage out of income tax.

6. Inheritance TaxAnother election pledge, raising the threshold of inheritance tax to £1m will allows millions for pay no tax when leaving capital to their relatives.
Social Prediciton Bar ChartPre-Budget Topics

Reactions and responses

From #PMQs to #EVEL to #GE2015, almost every political hashtag will end up in the gutter after being run through sentiment analysis.

Politicians, journalists and commentators are inherently cynical people, for better or for worse.

The least hated of the expected policies (so far) is the change to income tax (44% negative sentiment).

The most hated is the change to student maintenance grants (77% negative sentiment).

Pre-Budget Sentiment

It’s not all cynicism and hatred, though, some people are looking positive about the event.

Take the Chancellor himself, for example.

Even though the Prime Minister’s housemate isn’t too thrilled.

We’re off to analyze the event live. Follow us at @bw_react and check back here on the blog for post-Budget analysis.