Budget 2017 – Not much changes

Lots of money moved around in the Budget arithmetic. Practically all of the changes resulted from new forecasts. At last the Treasury and OBR have thrown off the inaccurate gloom they were enveloped in from the time of Brexit vote, and have brought their figures more into line with reality. As a result revenues leapt £10.5bn for 2016-17 compared to the November forecast!  Borrowing is now scheduled to be £51.7bn instead of the £68bn estimated in November, as spending is down a bit as well. I assume they have at last  got their 2016-17 forecasts  broadly right, as they must know most of the numbers by now.

I raised the issue of wildly inaccurate forecasts and the danger that they drag Ministers into policy responses that are not warranted by the underlying situation.

The Chancellor himself moved very little money around for next year. He took us through a number of detailed spending pledges, itemising   £5m for a commemoration  for women’s voting rights, £25 million for small business rate relief recipients, £25 million for a one off pubs rates relief, and £20 million for free schools capital. The one major item which is also  welcome is the £1200 million more for social care. There is also £250 million for NHS improvements.

The Budget also proposed tax changes for later years, including an increase in Self employed rates of NIC and a reduction in the tax free dividend payable from a company. I would  be interested in opinions on those measures, which come in during the likely run up to the next election.


  1. Man of Kent
    March 8, 2017

    The extra 1-2% on self employed NICS struck me immediately as a self-inflicted wound .

    On reflection I thought this may not be so bad as the BBC luvvies and other professionals might be caught .

    But then the total amount is so small so why not reduce employed NICS to achieve the same result [fairness ] ?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 10, 2017

      But it rendered future Tory manifestos worthless! It is a misguided policy too. Look at what happened to the Libdems after their tuition fees dishonest – richly deserved obscurity for them.

      Tax rates need to come down not go up and government to stopping all the waste like HS2 and the rest.

  2. MPC
    March 8, 2017

    Sky News at lunchtime today criticised the Chancellor’s growth forecasts, saying they forecast lower growth than did those which preceded the EU Referendum. So there you are Mr Redwood – surely you must realise that growth would be higher still had there been a vote to Remain in the EU

    Reply Not so. Growth accelerated after the vote to leave. The Treasury has consistently underestimated growth since we voted.

  3. MickN
    March 8, 2017

    Well as a self employed person employing one other I have now been hit with a rise in NI which the Conservative manifesto said could not happen as well as having to provide a workplace pension. I am not in a position to pass the extra costs onto those I work for (no raise in 3 years)
    Is this how the Tories treat their natural supporters?
    When can I expect the Government to pay me if I need time off sick and need to take paternity leave?
    Answers on a postage stamp!

    1. Lifelogic
      March 10, 2017

      Indeed the Work Place Pension is another time consuming lunacy. Just as daft as HS2, Hinkley C, the new probate tax (secondary inheritance tax 40% is apparently not enough) or Hammond’s absurd sugar tax or white van man tax.

      We are government by complete idiots, and blatantly lying idiots who think we cannot even read promises made (three times?) in a manifesto!

  4. ChrisS
    March 8, 2017

    Increasing the NICs for the self-employed will only go to demonstrate how overtaxed we are. ( except for the increasing number of those paying no income tax at all, obviously ).

    There is a considerable difference between an employee who tends to just look at the net figure on his payslip and the self employed person who actually has to metaphorically write out the cheque to pay his taxes as I know only too well. Increasing taxes will cause resentment and, no doubt a small degree of additional tax evasion.

    I still wonder whether the Chancellor has really taken into account the situation of the self employed who are not able to claim unemployment or sickness benefit ? Surely that alone should justify a substantial discount on taxes leveled on full employment ?

    I would have thought the better financial position could have allowed him to relax his strangulatory grip on the throats of BTL landlords and payers of CGT, both of which are treated far too harshly.

    As for the rest of the budget, it was a bit of a yawn really, except for Corbyn droning on about the injustice of it all.

    Socialists never learn anything, do they ?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 10, 2017

      “Socialists never learn anything, do they ?”

      Well they learn how to make a good living for themselves living off others backs, this while making a complete pig’s ear of the economy for everyone else. They learn how to buy votes with other people’s money and to incubate the evil politics of envy.

      They are also rather good a virtue signaling (again either with other people’s money or while doing nothing positive at all). But in the end they always run out of other people’s money to waste.

  5. Mark B
    March 8, 2017

    Good evening.

    As always there is more in a Budget than those items listed and we will not see much until later in the week.

    Chat then.

    1. acorn
      March 9, 2017

      See following. That £60 billion war chest has turned out to be £24 billion, collected over four years.


    2. Mark B
      March 9, 2017

      Well, judging from many peoples responses here, we are not impressed. But this is what you get from, technically, a Socialist government.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 9, 2017


        What is even more worrying is how out of touch and foolish the chancellor must be. To think that ratting on the very clear manifesto was a good plan. The public are sick to death of this bloated, overpaid state sector endlessly pissing money down the drain, endlessly increasing taxes & regulation and pushing up energy costs for a mad religion.

        This while delivering nothing much of any real value at all by way of decent public services.

        Wake up and smell the coffee Hammond speak to some normal people who do not work for the state.

  6. libertarian
    March 8, 2017

    I give up with the Conservatives

    They are just so anti small business its untrue.

    All of the job creation and economic growth is down to the women and men who have started small businesses in huge numbers over the last two years. In return for giving up comfortable salaried employment in order to risk everything growing a business the Tories have

    1) Reneged on another manifesto commitment to not increase taxes
    2) Introduced a living wage with out any thought for the consequences
    3) added ANOTHER tax with workplace pensions
    4) Introduced flexible working so that now 2 people are hired to do one job ( productivity anyone)
    5) paternity leave
    6) HMRC crackdown with unfathomable rules on who is and isnt employed
    7) Introduction of ludicrous BID levies
    8) Now a tax hike on the self employed/sole trader

    Yet once again £100 of millions of pounds are magiced out of the air to piss up the wall on public sector nonsense .

    The so called relief on business rates is a sick joke. You cause a problem then introduce bureaucracy to overcome some of the problem and STILL you wonder why productivity is low.

    I really feel like adopting from the lefts playbook and organising shutdowns, lock outs and demonstrations. Maybe if the country grinds to a halt the idiots may finally realise which side their bread is buttered

    We need some politicians and a party that recognises the 4.6 million small business owners that create the wealth , jobs and growth in our country and encourages them rather than continually hitting them

    1. alan jutson
      March 10, 2017


      Problem is most of those in power have never had to generate their own income by searching for their own customers, promoting their own business, and paying for the privilege and all their own overheads, before getting a salary out of what is left..

      If they had, then they would think and behave very differently.

  7. Lifelogic
    March 8, 2017

    12% insurance premium tax – I meant.

    Hammond like Osborne is a one man parasitic job creation scheme. This agenda is hugely damaging to productivity, real job creation and the country’s prosperity. The bonkers sugar tax alone will create thousands of parasitic jobs, and for no benefit whatsoever.

    We are governed by complete and utter fools. Fools who think more government, more regulation and higher taxes are the solution. We also have an opposition who are similarly socialist, but even worse.

  8. ian
    March 8, 2017

    Micky mouse has been at it, debt this year 52 billion next year 58 billion, must of been doing alot of selling of assets this year, social care 667 millions a year for three years, hospitals 250 millions next year, schools got back a little bit of the 2.5 billion but only for free schools, he should stayed in bed.

    1. LordBlagger
      March 9, 2017

      Debt? The borrowing. Debts are something completely different.

      Ask any Public sector worker if they are owed a pension? Suggest that they aren’t and its perfectly OK to cancel and not pay. After all if its not a debt on the books, it doesn’t have to be paid.

      I suggest a flak jacket for starters.

      The pension debts alone are going up at 636 bn a year.

  9. A.Sedgwick
    March 8, 2017

    Currently it would be difficult for any Chancellor to be radical, but there is no sign today Mr.Hammond is keen to alter the hotchpotch of taxes and regulations and create a regime of smaller government. A modernising Chancellor could have outlined his vision and what legacy he hoped to create.The first thing I would like gone after Brexit is VAT, replaced by a regional sales tax. Income tax and NI should have been combined long ago – his changes for the self employed is mistaken politically as is the Grammar School policy – both not in the 2015 manifesto. Regrettably he is another tinkerman, bits here there and everywhere. Most of his support packages could have been announced by individual ministers.

  10. John
    March 8, 2017

    On the Self employed and Incorporated I noted the arguments the Chancellor put forward, increase in the gig economy and narrowing of the difference in the state benefits of PAYE and Self employed receive.

    I don’t necessarily agree on the driver for these changes. How much is down to a general trend in the indigenous workforce to the gig economy and how much is down to migrant low wage work force taking advantage of the £11,500 tax free earnings and £8 minimum wage?

    What if you stripped out much of that low paid migrant workforce, would you still see a gig economy increasing with a reducing PAYE tax base or would it hold up?

    My hunch is that if you moved away from taking advantage of a low paid trained transient work force from Eastern Europe not paying tax (Personal Allowance) the move to a gig economy would be minor (but still increasing) and no longer a big issue. Therefore, perhaps, no need to make much change to the tax on Incorporated and Self employed statuses.

    For example, if we reduce cheap skilled migrant labour being on tap then an employer will want to train up indigenous workers at great expense. Being an expense, wouldn’t they will want to retain them by way of PAYE employment security?

    I believe the Chancellor is reading the gig economy and its driver incorrectly but the good news is that this move will create the debate and the tax rise is not massive nor crippling. Good to see a move into this space to trigger debate in the area.

  11. Sir Joe Soap
    March 8, 2017

    Well yet another Tory promise broken on NI, but I think by now all Cameron’s promises are now fully discounted to lies.

    Let’s turn this question back on you:
    Will increasing NI rates and tax on dividends a/ encourage enterprise or b/ discourage enterprise?

  12. Mr S
    March 8, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    I am heartened that you wish to hear thoughts on the taxation changes for the self-employed. I sense this means you feel unease, or may expect unease within your constituency.

    As a self-employed constituent, I am affected and concerned. Philosophically, this feels like a very un-Conservative measure. It gives the impression of punishing the very people who seek to stand on their own two feet and strive for a high standard of living.

    There are very clear opportunities to raise significantly greater amount of taxation from corporations avoiding tax on an industrial scale. This measure hits conservative voters hard and there are lot of self-employed people who will remember this for a long time.

    With every budget and (previous) autumn statement, I feel I have to brace myself in expectation of punishment for taking the only option available to me. There is a constant narrative of seeking to punish the self-employed, a sense that we are not contributing. Quite the contrary, we offer flexibility and take on a significant amount of risk without a safety net to fall back on.

    I think this approach and the overall direction of travel should be resisted. I fear that it will cause long term problems for the Conservatives.

    1. Anonymous
      March 9, 2017

      Indeed, but ours is an indebted and fundamentally socialist country with a predilection for unaffordable generosity. Those who can pay must be made to pay.

      We are still reading of £26k (£40k before tax) benefit recipients. There was one reported last week, with a large family, on a package worth £70k of taxed income. Most working people cannot afford to have a large family.

      1. Mr S
        March 11, 2017

        Based on a rough mental estimation, taking together vat collected and passed on, personal income tax and dividend tax, I paid over £120,000 in taxes last year. However, I’m obviously just gaming the system and should be stopped in my tracks.

        I feared and expected decimation and retribution from a possible Milliband / Balls government. I’m very surprised to have repeated Tory chancellors hunting down the self employed. Any clue as to the direction of travel in my voting intentions?

    2. eeyore
      March 9, 2017

      Please don’t vote for the White Van Man raid, Mr Redwood. As Mr S points out with such gentle eloquence, it’s unjust, unwise and against Conservative principles.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 9, 2017

        It is profoundly misguided even if it had not been blatant ratting on the manifesto.

        The economy would be far better off and more productive with more self employment not less. It is far more efficient and flexible in general.

  13. Hope
    March 8, 2017

    JR, how about the broken promise from your manifesto, no NI or more tax rises. Add this to the previous three hundred increases in tax. We were promised 80 percent spending cuts not tax rises and it has overwhelmingly been broken. The figures you produce are not accurate to the original forecast. The books were going to be balanced by 2015 then 2020! Now it is nowhere in sight. Please be factual against the deficit promises made by your party. You falsely make it look like the deficit is lower than forecast!

    1. Lifelogic
      March 8, 2017

      Indeed following the IHT ratter Osborne and punishment budget pusher we get IHT ratter and ow also a NI ratter Hammond. The tax burden was absurdly high even before this tax grab we need less government not more tax. It is hugely damaging to productivity, jobs and the economy.

      This NI ratting also absurdly comes at a time when Hammond is proposing to tighten the law on misleading contracts. Yet he fails to recognise the contract the Tory manifesto made with the public.

      What about a law to tackle, lying, fraudulent politicians? Is it not perhaps already covered by obtaining pecunary benefit by deception, if not it should be.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 8, 2017

        Lock him up as Trump might put it.

  14. Chris
    March 8, 2017

    This is the reaction of The Daily Mail: “White Van Man Mugged”, in caption to a picture of Hammond and May laughing in the H of C.
    Yes, it may be typical DM, but I think it does sum up the reaction of those affected very well.
    “Hammond flouts Tory manifesto as he launches brazen tax raid on MILLIONS of self-employed workers and savers…”

    1. Lifelogic
      March 9, 2017

      It is spot on, well done to the Daily Mail.

  15. Bert Young
    March 8, 2017

    From what I have learned so far , the Budget is a damp squib . I sense absolutely nothing to stimulate or encourage . There are many budding entrepreneurs in the self-employed category who will be coughing up more ; those who have scrimped and saved and have built up any reasonable sort of portfolio now face extra charges on their estate .

    Revenues would have increased if Hammond had reduced taxes ; the property sector has become gummed up due to the high level of stamp duties . There was absolutely nothing to feel good about .

  16. acorn
    March 8, 2017

    As you say JR, Hammond was tinkering around the edges. Neither the OBR or the Treasury has any idea what will happen between now and the next election.

    TME (Total Managed Expenditure) is up £5.4 billion to £802 billion for 17/18. Current Receipts for 17/18 are up £6.1 billion to £744 billion. Bugger all in what will probably be a £2,000 billion GDP for 17/18.

    OBR is forecasting a drop in the Balance of Payments Current Account to 2% from 5% of GDP, by the next general election. Assuming a “free market” government will not start taxing / banning imports, the only way that will happen is if the pound takes a significant dive towards parity with the US Dollar; or, at least parity with the Euro.

  17. rose
    March 8, 2017

    Very good contribution to the debate and thank you for raising the question of water in the overpopulated future. No-one else ever does, least of all the “Greens”.

  18. Mike Wilson
    March 8, 2017

    So, we’re all choosing to be self employed because of the tax advantages! No. Many people are becoming self employed because they either can’t get a job – or any sort of a decent job – so, what else can they do? Work for themselves and try to earn some money. With no holiday pay, no sick pay, no-one paying into a pension, no SMP or paternity pay – and bugger all help if you find yourself out of work.

    And for all this, it’s not fair that we pay a few percent less NI than an employee with all the perks we don’t get. Oh boy. As for pension parity … I don’t understand. I have been self employed most of my life – always paid plenty of tax and NI and I’m told I won’t be getting the mythical £155 a week when I am 65. I’ll be getting about £130 a week. So, nowhere near parity.

    Bloody furious.

    And I’ll say it again – the CAPTCHA thing you now have on here is both inane and insane.

    1. Chris
      March 8, 2017

      The trouble is that a really accurate answer with the CAPTCHA means that you can fail! Alternatively, some photos are not clear, so it could be a shop front, but on the other hand….!

    2. Lifelogic
      March 9, 2017

      No sick pay, no unemployment pay, no maternity pay are available for the self employed. But the main problem is the blatant breaking of the manifesto promise.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 9, 2017

        Nor should be extend this “social security” and they dishonestly call it – to the self employed – it would damage productivity and encourage people to abuse the system.

      2. alan jutson
        March 9, 2017


        ‘blatant breaking of the manifesto promise”.

        Agreed, Mr Hammond has joined the list of many others who rely upon the small print and the detail, as an excuse to simply treat the electorate with absolute contempt.

        Everyone knows the self employed get less entitlement than the Class 1 Employed, thats why the cost for them has always in the past been less.

        Another nail in the coffin for encouraging enterprise.

        1. Lifelogic
          March 9, 2017

          There was not even any small print just blatant ratting on a clear promise made three times in the manifesto.

      3. a-tracy
        March 9, 2017

        The government doesn’t pay sick pay or the sick leave holiday pay Employers do?
        The government doesn’t pay holiday pay the Employer does 1 day for 9 days worked and has to put the cost of that onto the charges as a self employed person should.
        The employee actually has an NI contribution of 25.8% with the Employers contribution tell me what welfare benefit they get over the self employed for worth the extra 16.8%.
        Self employed do get maternity allowance? If you want the full SMP you won’t be better off having paid in 25.8% over a lifetimes work.

        1. libertarian
          March 10, 2017


          PAYE employees dont pay all the taxes that the self employed do as well as NI, they pay business rates, SDLT, BID levies, Mandatory Insurance duty premiums, licence fees for anti money laundering, licence fees for data protection, CIS registration fees and of course VAT etc etc and many more industry specific regulatory fees.

          I dont think that PAYE employees pay their tax in advance BEFORE they’ve actually earned any money as self employed people do

          I dont think PAYE people actually employ anyone else ( 250,000 sole traders employ full time staff)

          I dont think PAYE people have to spend productive working hours filling in government forms, collecting taxes and complying with regulations and filing returns

          I dont think PAYE people have to submit annual accounts

          I dont think you’ve got a clue what it takes to run a small business

          1. a-tracy
            March 10, 2017

            Well that’s where you’d be wrong I’ve own and have run several successful SMEs. I know full well the taxes small businesses pay when they employ people. I’m the person filling in all the forms you’re talking about, monthly wage filing, VAT quarterly returns, business insurance payments, paying ssp and sick holiday pay and all the other burdens when you employ others. You’re conflating business costs in some situations with general personal taxation.

    3. alan jutson
      March 9, 2017


      Agree, to encourage self employment the people require more flexibility from the Government and the tax and benefits system not less.

      The budget was as I forecast, another tax hike.
      The rest just tinkering around the edges, with no substantial amount of money that will make any real difference to any department or anybody really.

      Pleased he is doing something with Social care, but its the system that needs reviewing if you want to make any real and positive difference.

      I understand the Chancellors reluctance to do major things before the Brexit negotiations, but the unclear thinking behind this Budget is a little worrying.

    4. Mockbeggar
      March 9, 2017


      I have a lot of sympathy with your outrage. I, too, was self-employed before retirement and there is,as you say, no safety net. This alone should justify a lower NI tax burden. However, most of the self-employed writing here are pretty successful, whereas many of the new self-employed are probably earning (after expenses) less than £16k and will actually pay less in NI contributions.

      When it comes to votes, I guess Hammond is relying on these people more than the likes of yourself…

  19. A different Simon
    March 8, 2017

    Rather than delaying quarterly tax reporting for self employed by a year , Hammond could have scrapped it .

    How can your Govt call itself Conservative when it’s trying to make self employment as onerous as possible ?

    1. stred
      March 8, 2017

      I read somewhere that Hammond likes filling in spreadsheets.Most people would rather do something else. It reminds me of the Monty Python song- I like Traffic Lights, Especially When They’re Red. Having Hammond in charge of the Treasury is equivalent to having a traffic light lover in charge of the Ministry of Transport.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 9, 2017

        What spreadsheets (and plodders like Hammond) so often neglect (as they are usually done superficially) is that if you increase one tax rate people change their behaviour. Lower tax rates so often mean higher revenues and visa versa.

        Look at the history in relation to rate changes in stamp duty, capital gain, income tax.

        If income tax is 100% they you get no tax at all as no one works, why would they?

        The man need to wake up.

  20. Nig l
    March 8, 2017

    Apart from the fact that the NI rise directly contradicts your manifesto and comments made by David Cameron, something you assured us wouldn’t happen, how does penalising the small business sector contribute to the increased productivity you claim to want. Initially I was in favour but now seeing the figures and the increase in dividend tax, it is just wrong, indeed this is your ‘tuition fee’ moment.

    As for the hike in the dividend tax, another kick in the teeth for prudent people especially pensioners looking to supplement their pensions, who have bought shares. You deliberately suppress interest so that inflation erodes savings, then hammer people who are looking to protect them and maintain income levels.

    Over the past years, tax and spend. Are you certain you are the Conservative Party?

    1. Chris
      March 8, 2017

      Regarding your first sentence, one David Cameron made a commitment that Article 50 would be triggered straight away. The truth seems to be what is expedient at the moment. I believe we have Tony Blair to thank for that. Unfortunately, some of his Tory successors seem to want to carry on the tradition.

  21. John
    March 8, 2017

    Why was new money (hundreds of millions) given to Wales, Scotland and N.I but not one penny piece for England? Time for an English uprising because nobody in Westmister is speaking up for us and without an English parliament they never will.

    1. JoolsB
      March 9, 2017

      Exactly. Every penny spent on England also has distorted Barnett consequentials for the devolved administrations but when millions of extra money is thrown at them as sweeteners, (English taxpayers’ money), the Barnett consequentials don’t apply to England and never will until England gets it’s own parliament too. Shame on this Conservative Government for treating England with the same contempt as the Labour one before it.

  22. Jack
    March 8, 2017

    Lower corporation taxes will reduce inflation for sure, so that’s one of the few good parts of the budget. But far too little and far too slow.

  23. Christopher Hudson
    March 8, 2017

    With no effective opposition he’s under no pressure

    The “war chest” idea seems sensible for if things get tricky post Brexit

    1. Chris
      March 8, 2017

      On the other hand, a war chest can indicate to Brussels that we have money available….Hammond would have been far better to have kept quiet about that.

    2. Jerry
      March 9, 2017

      @CH; Err, who needs an effective opposition when you have ‘friends’ in the MSM highlighting the broken 2015 Tory manifesto promises…

  24. LordBlagger
    March 8, 2017

    The Budget also proposed tax changes for later years, including an increase in Self employed rates of NIC and a reduction in the tax free dividend payable from a company. I would be interested in opinions on those measures, which come in during the likely run up to the next election.


    Well come the next election. We get out your manifesto promises. In 2015 you and other Tories, including Hammond stood up and said, if elected you promised not to increase National Insurance.

    Today, Hammond stood up, and raised National Insurance.

    Why can’t we conclude that conservatives lied to get elected?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 8, 2017

      How can we conclude anything else? What a damn fool Hammond is to kick voters in the teath in this way. Rather like the Libdems and tuition fees and look what happened to them.

      This especially when the policy is profoundly wrong headed and damaging anyway.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 8, 2017


    2. Mark Watson
      March 8, 2017

      Well said. Things could get uncomfortable for the Government come the next election.And as if we didn’t have enough division in the country already, Hammond is making out that the self employed are freeloading so creating divisions between the employed and self employed.

    3. Chris
      March 9, 2017

      At election time there was, of course, the issue of potential UKIP voters whom the Tories did not want to dissuade from voting Tories. Mention a rise in NI for the self employed and even more would have gone to UKIP. So, the Tories apparently kept quiet, and today merely claim that the rise is a “clarification” of NI, not a broken promise. Do these Tory politicians such as Hammond speak a different language from the electorate, where words actually have different meanings? This broken pledge is so brazen and targeted at those people who are part of the bedrock of the economy (SME) and who work hard and strive, that it defies belief that a Tory government has done this. This proposal should be withdrawn immediately and an apology made.

      One commenter on Guido interestingly refers to Hammond being swayed by high flier civil servants of Lib/Lab persuasion who have manage to persuade/dupe him through flattery (the commenter had a much ruder word) and arguments about “fairness” to hit his own supporters only for Hammond to wake up the next morning “to find that he has broken an election manifesto and hit his own voters – so he can spend more on Labour voters. But, the BBC and Corbyn don’t thank him – and they will never vote for him. His own voters and MPs curse him”.

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    March 8, 2017

    A highly political speech. One for the back benches not for the public

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 8, 2017

      The value of the catcha addition to this site can only be valued by the moderator. As a user it is not great

      1. formula57
        March 8, 2017

        I have now worked out how the Captcha expects me to behave and like the sense of achievement I feel when it allows me to proceed.

      2. alan jutson
        March 9, 2017


        Agree with your comments, on a small screen it must be a nightmare.

    2. Bob
      March 9, 2017

      @Narrow Shoulders

      “A highly political speech. One for the back benches not for the public”

      presume you mean the Labour back bench?

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        March 9, 2017

        I was commenting on the lack of real substance, constant references to achievements in spite of policy, the repetition that the UK is open for business and the focus on jokes at the opposition’s expense.

        The NI row is over such small sums it will blow over. This is the government that took child benefit from its own supporters and got away with it.

        1. libertarian
          March 10, 2017


          You just dont understand do you?

          It will not blow over. Its the straw that broke the camels back. Self employed and SME’s have been hit for years by EU and our own government. They just do not comprehend reality

          99% of all UK businesses are small businesses , 96% of all economic activity is internal. The two tax rises affects 5.6 million businesses, pension funds, and staff with company shareholdings. They just have not thought this through at all. It is obvious that some civil servants in the Treasury came up with this as they are obsessed with small businesses perceived to be “getting away” with something despite the fact that all they are doing is operating the rules.

          The Tories are in deep crap over this…they’ve shown their true colours.

  26. LordBlagger
    March 8, 2017

    “A Conservative Government will not increase the rates of VAT, Income Tax or National Insurance in the next Parliament”

    “we will not raise VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax”

    “commit to no increases in VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax”

    “we can commit to no increases in VAT, Income Tax or National Insurance. Tax rises on working people would harm our economy, reduce living standards and cost jobs”

    Today Hammond hiked NIC payments for self-employed people from 9 percent to 10% in 2018 and up again to 11 % by 2019. Two 1% tax rises in two years for the self-employed. Tory manifesto promise broken…

  27. graham1946
    March 8, 2017

    Not happy about the NIC’s for self employed, although it doesn’t affect any more me as I’m retired.

    However, Mr Hammond reckons the 9 percent against 12 percent of the employed is unfair as both sections now get the same pension entitlements. Is that his reasoning? Really?

    What he doesn’t mention is that for the self employed there is no statutory sick pay, no job seekers allowance, no holiday entitlement, no redundancy entitlement, no pensions contribution from an employer and that they risk their own money and even maybe family home etc to make their own way, and no-one helps them if they go bust. Fairness? I don’t think he knows what the word means. It’s just the easy way of justifying breaking a manifesto promise and raising taxes and I don’t the see the self employed being happy about it all. He just hopes the rest of the country will be bamboozled with his nonsense.

    Didn’t hear anything about getting the big international corporations to pay their whack, just load on the people who already contribute as usual.

    Once again, proof that Mrs May’s words in Downing Street regarding the JAM’s were just empty words with no substance and her promises seem to be about as robust as Cameron’s cast iron ones, which were actually made of cardboard.

  28. Iain Gill
    March 8, 2017

    Considering the ongoing chaos of the ir35 regime, and the favourable tax treatment given to foreign workers here on intra company transfer visas I can only conclude the government wants to destroy the native information technology workforce. I cannot support this shambles, I hope the government feel a tiny bit of the pain we do at some point.

    Totally and utterly cheesed off like all the IT professional forums.

    I can no longer tolerate mere polite conversation about these things.

    Angry and proud.

  29. formula57
    March 8, 2017

    The dividend tax-free allowance reduction is perhaps bearable in the context of weak government finances but the self-employed NIC changes have the look of a tax on jobs and enterprise for the case is not made that the changes just align the self-employed with others. Perhaps it is supposed the self-employed will vote Conservative anyway?

    Those NIC changes raise the sum of c.£2 billion over five years, contrasting with the similar sum the government intends disbursing in near half that time on net contributions to the Evil Empire whilst we remain a member. Picking the pockets of the self-employed to line those of the EU seems wrong-headed to say the least unless very material advantages are expected to be won in post Article 50 negotiations.

  30. Aaron Shone
    March 8, 2017

    you were doing so well talking up the economy, then the chancellor goes and removes the dividend allowance and increases nic rates of the people who were delivering the economic flexibility needed to counter the economic shocks of the last few years.

    Talk about screwing over your core voters. What next, death and inheritance taxes going up? Re introducing the poll tax? What happened to reducing corporation tax and capital gains tax?

    Seriously, are you able to clarify the government thinking behind this budget, because if the government thinks this budget is good, I don’t think they have the sense to negotiate a viable brexit deal with the EU. This budget could damage the widespread support the conservatives currently have by impacting their economic credibility.

    1. David Price
      March 11, 2017

      They have also put up taxes on death – see probate “fee” increase.

  31. Derek Henry
    March 8, 2017

    Why oh why, oh why, raise NI contributions ??

    That takes money off people that otherwise would be spent in the economy. That also allows them to grow their business and employ more people.

    This reducing the deficit (gold standard nonsense) is going to destroy this country. When is just one politician going to stand up there and tell the truth.

    The budget deficit = the private sector savings to the penny !

    Any politician that says they are going to reduce the deficit is saying they are coming after your savings.

    Why ? The real problem is the deficit is too small. The private sector does not have enough savings.

  32. Narrow Shoulders
    March 8, 2017

    600,000 extra jobs. Where are those bodies coming from when we Are outside the EU?

    Assuming the new visa system requires genuine contribution to the country we should be much better off than the forecasts

  33. Cheshire Girl
    March 8, 2017

    This may not be relevant, but I would just like to say that the way the Budget was delivered today was, in my opinion, very unprofessional.

    I thought that the constant references to the last Labour Government were unnecessary. The Chancellor may wish to prove he has a sense of humour, but the silly jokes and the laughing and jeering by those who should know better was a complete turn-off.

    The Budget will have contained very little to laugh about for some people, and the antics of the MPs and Ministers just proved again how out of touch they are.

    1. margaret
      March 10, 2017

      I find this an ever increasing problem Cheshire Girl, not just a Hammond problem alone. Serious matters which affect everyone’s lives are not laughing matters and whilst in the house, the odd sarcastic remark is made which evokes hoots of laughter, delivering the budget does not fall into that class.

      I went to a conference last week and silly laughing and attempts to make fun of the ill made me feel as though these people should not be in the positions they are in. I have a good sense of humour but come, on sensitivity and seiousness has a place in all communication.

  34. Molluscs
    March 8, 2017

    I cannot believe that the raid on self employment has happened under a Conservative government and in doing so, broke election promises. Maggie Thatcher would be turning in her grave. The disparity in taxation between self employed and employed compensates for the lack of the benefits that employed people enjoy (sick pay, maternity pay, paid holidays, pension, nursery credits etc) and the lack of job security. If he had wanted to achieve similar tax levels, surely a Conservative chancellor would look to reducing taxes on the employed?
    A very disappointing performance by an out of touch politician.
    I am self employed

  35. ChrisS
    March 8, 2017

    When are we going to have a government that doesn’t have an insatiable appetite for stealing more and more of our money in taxes – and in this case, thanks originally to Clegg, from an ever decreasing number of the hardest working people ?

    The Conservatives are very unwise to go on concentrating the tax take from fewer and fewer people who predominantly will have been voting Conservative.

    Increasing the Income tax threshold even further to £12,500 will remove the incentive to keep taxes low from yet another couple of million voters. They will inevitably come to see Labour policies of increasing expenditure and taxes as an attractive idea. They will benefit from the increased expenditure without having to pay for it !

    Hitting the self employed with increased NI is equally foolish – they, we, are a natural Tory constituency.

    An exceedingly disappointing and misguided budget.

    Now is obviously not the time with ministers preoccupied with Brexit, but, sooner or later, a government is going to have to get a grip and drastically simplify the tax system. When that time comes around we have to hope it is a Conservative one.

  36. Mark Watson
    March 8, 2017

    With regard to the tax increases on the self employed, this is the sort of budget I would have expected from a labour Chancellor. I have already conveyed my disapproval to my Tory MP.Its a very bad strategic mistake croon the Tories.

  37. Mark Watson
    March 8, 2017

    A very bad strategic mistake *from* the Tories!

  38. anon
    March 8, 2017

    Equalising NI treatment prior to combining with income tax is simplification.

    Then once combined go for max cap on deductions and or a minimum % floor on tx rate above the tax free limit.

    We should also then apply this tax to all income not just “labour per hour”.

    A cap on public sector pension contributions or entitlement needs to be brought in.

    Any exceptional provision above that should be money contribution.After all they should have need skin in the game. Could encourage some more joined up thinking.

    Then it might start to look like a more level playing field.

  39. Glenn Vaughan
    March 8, 2017

    The Budget that intrigues me is the one scheduled for delivery in November 2019.

    It will be more than two years after the triggering of Article 50, the end of Brexit negotiations (supposedly) and just six months in advance of a General Election.

  40. Eh?
    March 9, 2017

    All the media are featuring the Self-employed as hard done to. It may be an imbalance which Hammond seeks to put right. Though it really does not seem the time to cut down on aspiration. Personally, I have always been warned off by self-employed people who own that things are great but with the slightest downturn they are not in line for benefits which they need. Well, it certainly makes you try for success. Most of our jobs are as dull as the Chancellor’s. Though today was the most cheerful I’ve ever seen him. It’s not his birthday. Is Ken Clarke retiring today?

  41. WaltherPPK
    March 9, 2017

    Very few new migrants know how to save money in the UK and get a respectable return.
    We need them to keep their money here and spend it here. If there is way without discriminating against our own citizens, we should provide a simple straightforward means.

    Depending on the kind of investment, it could be seen by our own people as giving migrants a stake in our country and actually building it instead of working and sending everything across the border.

    What about some kind of healthcare bond? Or a schooling bond?

  42. Jerry
    March 9, 2017

    Regarding NI for the self employed, the devil will be in the detail beyond the headline announcement, for example will there also be a levelling of the benefits available to the self employed compared to those currently paying the higher rate? I strongly suspect though that Hammond & May have scored a spectacular own goal, taking support from the “striver’s”, as a Minister of State once called us -never mind UKIP, even a rudderless Labour party and the SNP will be able to take advantage of this political gaff…

  43. Lifelogic
    March 9, 2017

    Why on earth are ministers like David Gauke touring the studios and still claiming Hammond had not broken the manifesto promise not to increase NI? Do they not have a copy of it?

    Do they think the public are completely moronic? The wording was very clear, legislation post the manifesto is totally irrelevant.

    Further more yet more tax increase are hugely mistaken anyway. Tax rates are far too high (and far too complex) already. Hammond need to do a u-turn & while he is at it he should keep the £1million IHT threshold each promise that Osborne made eight years back and blatantly ratted on.

  44. Roy Grainger
    March 9, 2017

    I am retired and live off investment income. I structured my investments (bought using money that had already been taxed) to take advantage of the £5000 allowance on dividends. Now I am being punished because people in work for the BBC and elsewhere are setting up personal service companies to avoid tax and NI – a completely different situation to my own.

    1) It is impossible to plan for retirement if allowances are going to be massively changed every year
    2) I was not aware that the Conservative manifesto was purely advisory – I will know better next time.

    Overall of course I can afford the £225 extra tax bill but it the principle that is wrong. It was always obvious that when Osborne introduced the dividend tax at a low level it would simply because another way of revenue raising.

  45. Edward
    March 9, 2017

    So PH managed to get his spreadsheet all nicely balanced and not a circular reference in sight.

    Big deal.

    He managed to suck out any vision leaving the country to express a loud “Meh!”

  46. oldtimer
    March 9, 2017

    The attacks on the self employed and the entrepreneurs are huge mistakes. Waffle about “fairness” completely ignores the elements of risk and uncertainty inherent in seeking to earn a living. Add to that the broken promise and I believe that Hammond an D May have shot themselves in the foot.ool

    1. oldtimer
      March 9, 2017

      Apologies for the spelling errors – due to posting via my mobile phone.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      March 9, 2017

      Reducing rates for employees would have been fair and not broken promises.

  47. David Price
    March 9, 2017

    My impression is Hammond is taking a calculated risk that the impact will not be enough to drive self employed voters away from the Conservatives in sufficient numbers to make much difference. I think he is wrong as the cynical and negative aspects of his message outweigh any benefit.

    He’s broken an election pledge and gone after the group that has least representation and lobby influence while tending to be the most self reliant and entrepreneurial, an easy target compared to the bankers and large corporates. At the same time he’s given what money he might extract to NI, Wales and Scotland.

    Except, the Westminster intuition of what the electorate will do has been proven to be very wide of the mark and the referendum has given people the taste of defeating the elites.

  48. Javelin
    March 9, 2017

    Conservatives are now the Party of breaking election promises and taxing entrepreneurs. Do you actually have a clue how little Hairdressers earn?

    Hammond made a fundamental political error that will come back to haunt all Conservative MPs.

    Hammond has the political instincts of a mating Salmon.

    This unforced error will open the door to a new popularist political party that will condemn the Tories to being a party of Elitists. This was a bigger error than the Poll Tax.

  49. Mick
    March 9, 2017

    Abit fed up of all the media going on about the 2015 Tory manifesto, I for one don’t give a jot that the self employed are going to pay more in nic, I always thought they payed the same as employed, talk about giving a dog a bone there like vultures around a dead carcass flaming media, then there’s snp sturgeon still harping on about them calling a referendum on Scotland leaving the uk, just do it then when you fail big time again hopefully the snp will be consigned to the dustbin along with the lib/??? and labour

  50. Nig l
    March 9, 2017

    You get one chance to make a first impression, sadly Hammond did not grasp that and has reinforced the public’s view that politicians are contemptuous of them apart from when they want their vote. That contempt is multiplied many times over when going the other way. Why should anyone bother to better themselves or provide for a future when your lot just view it as their bank account to raid at will. I see more money will be going into overseas aid, so much for democracy and I presume the EC contribution will grow in line with our economy. I think it is time for another ‘poll tax response’ to remind politicians we are here and angry.

    If you want feedback. Read the newspapers.

  51. formula57
    March 9, 2017

    I see one of the more adroit and in-touch Conservative MPs has said, “We should not go out of our way to tax work, enterprise and success. I know we have to do some of that, because we need a lot of revenue for the range of public services we offer, but our taxes on those things are quite high enough.”

    Thank you! Let us trust the government takes heed.

  52. fedupsoutherner
    March 9, 2017

    Well, what a disappointing budget. NI contributions up for the self employed. What a smack in the teeth that is for thousands of people struggling to make a decent living. It goes against everything the Conservative party stands for or at least what I thought it stood for. If May and Hammond aren’t careful I can see problems ahead especially if the leadership changes in Labour.. If Mrs May wants to have more certain control then an election would be better sooner than later. The additional money for social care is welcome but will only be of use if those in charge of the distribution have got their act together and it doesn’t get frittered away. If Wales, Scotland and NI are not happy with yet another free giveaway then they could always give it back to England.

  53. fedupsoutherner
    March 9, 2017

    Hammond could have used this budget to raise taxes on renewables instead of punishing those in the fossil fuel industry. He could have raised taxes on what are mostly foreign companies operating wind farms and also taxed the landowners who are raking in millions at the expense of energy bill payers.

  54. Horatio McSherry
    March 9, 2017


    Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, a budget any socialist would be proud of: More borrowing, more spending, more taxes. Higher! Higher! More! More! It’s never enough. The deep reaching sticky fingers of Brown and Blair replaced by the equally sticky fingers of Osborne and Hammond.

    Which party do I vote for it I want lower taxes and smaller government? Or is there some way freedom from government can be achieved?

  55. turboterrier
    March 9, 2017

    Like or hate it the problem is that the money has to come from somewhere all the time we have crisis in the key areas of everyday life.

    I listened with disbelief when the SNP and Welsh spokesman appeared to moaned about their extra money. That’s fine by me take it back and use it elsewhere.

    The Chancellor could have thought outside the box and bought in measures to reduce energy prices, better still implement a windfall tax on all power and renewable companies and the land owners, all properties selling power to the grid are designated a business.

    The percentage of the population affected and having to pay would be very small, and the money raised could be used to address fuel debt and poverty.

    Take the bull by the horns and just scrap all the green crap payments altogether.

    The next thing will be the panic over air pollution and the hammering of diesel car owners, it will change diddly squat because this country relies on road transport to deliver goods and if they hit cars they will have to hit the transport industry.

    Do these politicians ever think outside the box?

  56. JM
    March 9, 2017

    NICs: Broken promise. There was no small print in the manifesto. Arguing that the matter was discussed in Parliament after the election is weasel words. The self-employed affected might be few in number (political calculation) but those few also pay VAT which more than compensates for the “lost” NICs.

    If the party is going to go back on what was a clear manifesto promise at least have the honesty to say so instead of trying to pretend otherwise. You might get more respect if you did. Meanwhile enjoy the opprobrium that is justifiably coming your way.

  57. Roy Grainger
    March 9, 2017

    Remember how the LibDems were beaten with the “tuition fees” stick at the last election ? Now they will repay it in kind over NI – Hammond has comprehensively undermined the next Tory manifesto for a minimal extra tax take.

  58. Brian Tomkinson
    March 9, 2017

    Increase in NI for self-employed reminiscent of Osborne’s ‘pasty tax’. Awaiting u-turn. Meanwhile overseas aid rises inexorably with GDP and, disgracefully, is only expenditure government has made a legal obligation.

  59. John E
    March 9, 2017

    Oh dear, oh dear.
    From the outset it was clear that Mr Hammond knows he lacks the full backing of the PM and has at best an awkward relationship with her. I don’t suppose he is alone in that, she doesn’t seem to do human very well. I like the internet version of her laugh yesterday that shows her swallowing a fish.

    It was nice of him to thank all the other people who really prepare the budget, but that was the first clue he hadn’t brought anything to the party himself.
    So no vision, no radical reform. It was the things that were absent that were the biggest issue.

    On N.I. his presentation was very slippery. It’s the employers who save the most, not the contractors. At the lower end people are pushed unwillingly into self employment. Most couriers for example would much prefer to have proper jobs. Now breaking the manifesto promise and taking more money from them will not exactly help hard pressed families.

    P.S. This captcha business is very irritating.

    1. rose
      March 10, 2017

      “This captcha business is very irritating.”

      Without it filtering out the spam, Mr R wouldn’t get round to editing your comments.

  60. Antisthenes
    March 9, 2017

    The reduction in the dividend tax allowance and the increase in self employed NIC appear modest and sensible. It gives the message that those two groups are going to pay a fairer share which given the current climate of envy politics will be generally welcomed. Not by those who it effects of course but then despite the belief to the contrary of lefty progressives in life there are always winners and losers. The number of good causes that the chancellor promised to donate money to will no doubt gladden the hearts of many.

    However I fear that the money will be spent less on those it is targeted and more by those who administer it. A phenomena that is an inherent flaw of government controlled spending. Taxes are an awful way to channel peoples hard earned income. The object of course is enforced insurance in a way that no one loses out. Most of which could be better done by using the private sector where competition would ensure a less wasteful and efficient system. Taxes would be considerably less than they are now then being used to subsidies the least well off and things like the armed forces.

  61. MikeP
    March 9, 2017

    I had a spell of self-employment, yes it had tax advantages but I always felt insecure, it was darned hard work. My son has been self-employed for years, in his industry that is the employment model. Like millions of other self-employed workers:
    – if he doesn’t work he doesn’t get paid
    – if he’s not thinking about where his next order is coming from 24/7 he doesn’t get paid
    – if he takes a holiday he doesn’t get paid
    – if he is sick he doesn’t get paid
    – if he makes a mistake he has no corporate umbrella to protect him so doesn’t get paid
    – if he deals with a large corporation that is a tardy payer it hurts his cash flow not theirs
    – he stands to retire with a lower state pension than employed workers
    – he can’t afford (as yet) to pay into a personal pension so compares poorly to his Generation Y contemporaries.
    So if you’re looking for critique on the Chancellor’s efforts, my son and I would both say hands off the self-employed, you don’t stimulate growth by hitting the risk takers. Life and work for them is tough enough as it is!

  62. Bob Dixon
    March 9, 2017

    Another kink in the teeth for Pensioners.So you have a cash pile earning little or no interest.

    So put the money into shares to earn dividends. Now we will be charged 7.5% tax.

  63. Oliver
    March 9, 2017

    Abolish Dividend tax credits, offset by £5k annual tax free dividend allowance.

    Then cut that back to £2k.

    Net effect?

    Slipperiness worthy of Gordon Brown.

    1. Bob
      March 9, 2017

      “Abolish Dividend tax credits, offset by £5k annual tax free dividend allowance. Then cut that back to £2k.”

      It’s commonly referred to as the “thin end of the wedge”.

      Govt are using stealth tactics more frequently now, like when the govt decided that employers can no longer claim back statutory sick pay (SSP) disbursements from their payments to HMRC.

      I suspect that the State Pension will similarly disappear by stealth as the auto enrolement scheme kicks in.

  64. Gareth Humphreys
    March 9, 2017

    Reneging on manifesto promises is inviting electoral defeat. I wonder if the government realises the peril it is in. Labour is not so finished as the right-wing press would have us believe.

    1. Hamsterwheel
      March 9, 2017

      What right wing press? The Sun? That’ll make all the difference.
      Even the Telegraph has lurched to the Left in recent times., and the Daily Mail is celebrity-obsessed.

  65. David Edwards
    March 9, 2017

    As the son of a self employed small builder I well remember the hours my father put in on site (and off it preparing estimates and doing general admin) so I fail to see what Mr. Hammond was thinking of when he raised the NIC made by the self employed.

    I can see the logic in his arguments for this move and I accept his narrow legalistic view that this move does not break the 2015 Manifesto pledge.

    But I have to say that the lack of political nous he has displayed is on a par with Mr. Osborne’s Pastie/Caravan tax and Lady Nugee’s infamous white van tweet.

    I have emailed my MP to this effect and I would urge other readers who share my opinion to let their MPs know how they feel.

  66. Edward
    March 9, 2017

    Due to the disgraceful lack of opposition this Government is getting careless.

    Seems to me that this budget, other than cleaning up some things, only was trying to achieve one thing and that is to pay for extra social care. So it comes up with a paltry £2bn with the initial impression it would be in year 1 but then we discover it is to be spread over several years.

    And, I’m sure, it would have been relatively easy to find this paltry £2bn (well within contingency funds). But no the Government has to penalise the scrimpers, savers and builders on the basis of ‘fairness’.

    So this is what the Tory party looks like when it is on its long march to socialism? It is not a good look.

  67. graham1946
    March 9, 2017

    Mr Hammond has caught the Gordon Brown bug of announcing tax increases that will follow in the years to come. This way, after the initial outrage is forgotten they creep in under the wire, un-commented upon and he gets away with it. Maybe he won’t this time, like Gideons idiotic pasty and caravan taxes, but who will stop him with the sycophants all cheering to the rafters yesterday and Mrs May highly satisfied with her poor choice of Chancellor.

    I noticed several times yesterday he said he will not leave a legacy of debt for our children. This is an outright lie. We are already way beyond that point. If we could pay back 10 billion a year (nothing will be paid back before 2025 at the earliest) and no further interest was added to the debt it would take 170 years to clear. That’s what we are faced with, and with almost the same the borrowing in 7 years of Tory rule as profligate Labour did in 13 years and still, with the country falling apart, the debt mountain grows.

    1. Bob
      March 9, 2017

      “Mrs May highly satisfied with her poor choice of Chancellor.”

      very poor choice indeed. Our host would have been by far the better choice.

      Quite frankly, any changes to tax should be downwards only.

      Foreign aid and similar squandering projects like HS2 should be scrapped. The consultants involved in these projects have been leeching from the taxpayer for far too long. We cannot afford it anymore.

  68. Denis Cooper
    March 9, 2017

    Now Hammond is coming very close to blaming Brexit …

  69. Juliet
    March 9, 2017

    Self-employed needs a better classification because you have small businesses, independent consultants, and then you have people registering as self-employed to work in Gig economy on low wages that are not self-employed, bogus self-employed needs clamp down and regulating

    I back Hammond, all workers need to contribute but need to do so equally for the services they receive state pension and local public services they use

  70. William Long
    March 9, 2017

    The reduction in the dividend tax allowance is a particular kick in the teeth because it was introduced to alleviate a change in dividend taxation that resulted in a significant increase in tax payable at the higher end. As for suggesting that it might be compensated by the increase in the annual ISA allowance, this shows the man is not numerate; I would not trust him with my spreadsheet.
    Hammond seems to have designed much of his budget to annoy core Conservative voters.

  71. G Wilson
    March 9, 2017

    I’m extraordinarily disappointed with the Conservatives over the NI and dividend measures – but not surprised, since the stream of small attacks on self-employed workers never seems to have an end, whatever optimistic words the Tories may put into a manifesto.

    Conservatives don’t really seem to be offering conservative policies at all. One telling moment was Hammond declaring this morning the tax raid was about getting “match fit”. Conservatives ought to understand that getting “match fit” means cutting fat, not gorging more. There is plenty of wasteful government spending, and no sign of Hammond having thought about how to cut that before taking away more wealth from working people. If the desire is to equalise NI, I have yet to hear any good reason for not cutting the NI paid by the employed to a more reasonable level.

    Worse was Hammond’s claim this morning of a “perverse incentive” to be self-employed. If people are fiddling, that problem is already dealt with under IR35 rules, so no need to punish the legitimately self-employed. I’m not a hidden employee as Hammond appears to believe self-employed people universally are – I provide a set of specialist skills that businesses need for short periods of time and wouldn’t find cost-effective to maintain internally. To make those skills available and profit from them, I take a risk with my economic security and get less protection than an employed person. My work produces opportunity and wealth for others in a way that it couldn’t as an employee – yet I’m now the Tories’ target, and for no good reason.

  72. Beecee
    March 9, 2017

    The first thing the Chancellor should have done is cut Foreign Aid by 50%

    That £6bn could then have been allocated to the NHS, free Social Care.

    Why please do Politicians devote themselves to posture politics?

    If we are the World’s 5th largest economy, why cannot we build our own nuclear power statioons, aeroplanes for the RAF, Tanks for the Army etc etc?

    Why are our Politicians fixated on a Carbon reduction programme, which is crippling our industry because of the high cost of energy and leading to energy poverty for those’who are just managing’, when the impact our achieving %zero carbon emissions will have no impact on Climate Change whatsoever?

    Posture politics and the poor old taxpayer picks up the tab again!

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      March 9, 2017

      I agree with you about foreign aid but MPs have made it a statutory requirement on the government, no other expenditure is a legal obligation. MPs put welfare of foreigners before requirements of their own citizens and in the process waste billions overseas whilst bemoaning lack of money for NHS and social care.

    2. agricola
      March 9, 2017

      Spot on.

      The H o L at present much maligned, and mostly wise enough to have left grubby politics, had some very positive things to say about fracking. I doubt the H o C were listening. The budget was a home goal and a gift for UKIP to exploit among the electorate. The place where power increasingly lies.

  73. Chris
    March 9, 2017

    I am not alone in wishing that you had been invited to be Chancellor, Mr Redwood. The current Chancellor seems to be more akin to Lib Dem/Labour on tax policies. One would not identify him as a Conservative. Margaret Thatcher would have identified the problem and would have acted, at least she would have before she was brought down by Heseltine and Howe.

  74. Narrow Shoulders
    March 9, 2017

    First they came for the “rich” on child benefit.

    No one said a word.

    Next they used fiscal drag to come for higher rate taxpayers.

    No one said a word.

    When they came for the self employed there was no one left to act.

  75. Addanc
    March 9, 2017

    The increase in the foreign aid budget will probably swallow any increase in revenue derived from attacking the self employed, it must make you feel proud.

    I don’t think I have heard a single Tory talk about spending less! How about starting the cull with Quangos; what is the spend on these 200billion? 300billion? All Quango provide is mechanism for ministers to abdicate responsibility for things that should be part of their brief, it weren’t me what did it governa it was the Quango.

    The approach of raising taxes to get a few million quid here and there will not even dent the deficit, let alone set about the 1.7 trillion debt; try educate Hammond on the Laffer curve, the only thing to come out of economics that has a basis in reality; funny how taxing less quite often increases tax receipt, magic; the country needs to all out for growth.

  76. Party Strategist
    March 9, 2017

    The Chancellor’s gift to the Labour Party, LibDems and SNP….the Self-Employed thing….I’m sure they are grateful to him.

  77. Celebrationist
    March 10, 2017

    Is the Royal Mint going to produce a special coin for the Article 50 signing? One for general use rather than a collectors item?. The new pound coin would have been an appropriate coin. Will the Royal Mail be persuaded to have a special stamp? I suggest the Government itself should have a special stamp minted. A Brexit Savings Stamp with monthly dates, value £5. A bonus for having 12 months worth of stamps stuck on a card.
    We should do SOMETHING to mark the occasion.

  78. rick hamilton
    March 10, 2017

    I would like to see a show of hands in a packed HoC. How many MPs have achieved the following:

    1. Obtained a degree in a numerate subject such as science, maths or engineering.
    2. Started their own business and ran it successfully for at least five years.
    3. Lived and worked abroad for at least five years and speak a foreign language.

    The small number who could answer yes to at least one of these should get together and form a new party. Let’s call it the Realists.

    With FPTP and all the main parties being essentially socialist there is almost no chance of them forming a government. But UKIP didn’t and arguably they have had more influence than any political movement since the Suffragettes.

    One lives in hope.

  79. libertarian
    March 10, 2017

    I see that the reason stated for breaking a manifesto promise on NICs and Dividends was for “Fairness”

    Thats good I now look forward to a massive tax rebate in the Autumn Budget for all the money spent on private education and health and not using state resources…. Its only fair

    1. Chris
      March 10, 2017

      It was also for “clarification”, apparently….

  80. getahead
    March 10, 2017

    “I trust the leaks about higher National Insurance for the self employed are just Treasury officials greedy for revenue and not inspired briefing.”
    Sadly John, your hopes were in vain.

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