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Budget March 2024

3 months ago

In past years, the annual Budget was shrouded in secrecy. No one was supposed to know what was in the Red Box that the Chancellor held up outside 11 Downing Street on his way to Parliament. There was an element of suspense. Now it seems that most of the proposals were predicted in the morning papers – the television pundits were reduced to speculating whether Jeremy Hunt would produce ‘a rabbit from his hat’, but it turned out that the hat only contained what was expected. [...]

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Autumn Statement November 2023

7 months ago

In the weeks leading up to the Autumn Statement, the press was full of speculation about tax cuts. This was a surprise, just over a year after the tax cuts announced by Kwasi Kwarteng were judged imprudent by the international markets, contributing to a fall in the value of sterling and increases in interest rates. Nevertheless, it seemed that a side effect of inflation was that higher incomes and prices had fed through into higher tax receipts; the Chancellor had more in his coffers – more ‘fiscal headroom’ – than had been predicted in the Spring, and commentators were suggesting what he might do with it. [...]

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Budget Statement March 2023

1 year ago

Jeremy Hunt opened his first full Budget speech by declaring that it was a ‘budget for growth’. He emphasised that this would be ‘long term, sustainable, healthy growth’; after all, Kwasi Kwarteng’s ill-fated September speech at the same despatch box was titled ‘the Growth Plan’. The Office for Budget Responsibility reported that there is unlikely to be any growth in 2023, but the UK is likely at least to avoid a recession. [...]

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Autumn Statement November 2022

1 year ago

When the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes a fiscal statement to Parliament - whether it is called a Budget, a mini-Budget or an Autumn Statement – the headlines are in the speech and the details are in the Treasury Red Book that is published on the internet when he sits down. In normal times, it is hard enough to keep track of changes that come in immediately, changes that are coming soon, and proposals that are on the horizon. [...]

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Mini Budget September 2022

1 year ago

In his first Budget speech as Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng said that ‘we need a new approach for a new era, focused on growth’. He would build this around three priorities: reforming the supply side of the economy, maintaining a responsible approach to public finances, and cutting taxes to boost growth. What followed certainly delivered on the third of these: this package has been described as the biggest tax cutting budget for half a century. [...]

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Spring Statement March 2022

2 years ago

The Chancellor presented two Budgets in 2021 in which he set out a great many details of the tax rates and rules that will apply until April 2026. The 2022 Spring Statement was expected to review the economic situation and adjust forecasts, but was not supposed to include anything significant about tax. Of course, things have changed dramatically since October: there is a war in Ukraine, energy prices are rising sharply and inflation has returned to levels last seen in the early 1990s. [...]

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