Yesterday Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his governments ‘last Spring’ budget. He set out plans for higher spending and higher taxes whilst trying to reduce the deficit.
Hammond opened on a good note stating that The Office for Budget Responsibility had upgraded its’ forecast for growth from 1.4% to 2%. This figure would in fact then drop the following year before rising the year after.
The biggest news of the budget came in terms of a higher national insurance rate towards self employers. Currently, self employers pay 9p of every pound towards national insurance while those not-self employed pay twelve pence 12p. The increase will be 2p on every pound which will increase the amount from 9p to 11p.
The reason self employers have been singled out is because they accounted for 45% of the countries “jobs miracle” growth after the financial crises. The Chancellor is looking to earn more in tax out of this growth by posting a reported £2bn extra. This increase is supposed to pay for health and social care. Sectors that have been heavily cut to the tune of more than 80% over a decade by the Tory governments.
Hammond spent little time skirting around school funding and the continuous push for Tory grammar school funding.
He did not promote one of his parties biggest victories though. The Conservative house building increase has helped the growth of the country and was definitely something that was expected to be presented to resounding cheers.
The Chancellor did not approach Brexit once or the economic consequences on the public. The measures to be undertaken will be presented at the autumn budget and are likely to involve more heavy cuts to public sectors. It will hold the true reflection of what course he and Teresa May want to steer a sinking ship in.
The lacklustre performance was more attractive than the George Osborne gimmick, headline era but still contained enough jokes to once again show the disparity between politicians and the everyday person.
“I am committing additional grant funding of £2bn to social care in England over the next three years”
What we definitely know about the autumn budget is this.
Corporations, who refuse to pay the correct amount of tax, will also be given a higher tax relief to keep their business in the UK post-Brexit. The opposite to what people who voted to leave believed when they went to the polls.
Hammond is also carrying forward his plan to provide a £1bn inheritance tax cut for its core supporters in the south-east. This loss will be counteracted with more cuts to benefits in order to level the books. Books that are always somehow tipped in the favour of the rich.
Hammond must do more next time around to inspire people and show that his tactics to relive the UK from the mire are right. The biggest problem is that due to Brexit more cuts are needed to cope with the amount that the country will lose. Corporation tax will be reduced further and cuts made more harshly against the weakest in our society.
Yesterday was merely a ceremonial exchange of pleasantries. A tipple if you will. A nothing insight into what lies ahead before a historical plunge into uncertainty is taken.
I just hope not too many disabled people are thrown overboard to lighten the load of a burning ship.