Spreadsheet Phil strikes again!
I’m not sure of the wisdom of emptying the coffers rather than getting the country’s borrowings down at a greater rate, but at least it is a positive policy move, rather than the somewhat grey statements of the recent past. The unexpected windfall that Mr Hammond made use of was a reduction in the forecast levels of debt, brought about by greater/quicker tax revenues, rather than economic growth- personally, I would have preferred a more cautious approach, particularly given the thought that there may well be another, and maybe a more drastic, Budget statement once the Brexit deal has (or perhaps hasn’t?) been agreed.
It was definitely a political Budget – several pay-outs that will win votes, such as increased spending on the NHS, armed forces, Universal Credit – and one that pleases me particularly, money for potholes in the roads to be mended. Continued support for the business rates levied against small businesses was also an encouraging move to me.
The most unexpected announcements to me were the acceleration in the increase in tax-free personal allowances, and the level at which higher rates of tax come in. I have heard a few cynical comments that these measures are forerunners to an election announcement – nothing would surprise me nowadays.
I didn’t hear the speech unfortunately – I understand that the attempts at jokes went down like a lead balloon, one correspondent suggesting that they had been “delivered with all the aplomb of a heavily sedated undertaker”. That in itself made me laugh – I think I will take the time to listen to the speech on “catch up” to make my own mind up.
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The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.