With no long term solutions, the Budget is more trickery than treats

By Rob Whiteman | 01 November 2018
  • Rob Whiteman

Chancellor Philip Hammond found himself in a tight spot announcing the Budget on Monday. Even though an unexpected windfall of £13bn as a result of lower-than-expected public spending and higher value added tax and corporation tax receipts gave him more to play with, he had been set a high bar to leap following Theresa May’s declaration of the 'end of austerity' and a £20bn 'gift' for the NHS.

This injection to the public finances was certainly put to use, and references to the Budget as ‘trick or treat’ seem apposite, as in some ways it was a lolly scramble. The raising of the personal allowance for income tax up to £12,500, a higher rate threshold at £50,000, with the exception of Scotland, and a freezing of some alcohol duties, will no doubt all be welcomed down the pub.

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