The UK budget – do no harm

The main thing I want from the Budget is no more damage to the UK economy from new and higher taxes. I see trailed a series of proposals on how to tax us more. There is no need for any such proposals. The government will have reluctantly to publish new forecasts showing, as predicted here, that their last forecasts were too pessimistic and they have raised more tax revenue than they expected. There is no excuse to put taxes up.

Indeed, as often argued here, if they cut some tax rates they would probably collect more revenue from the increase in activity the tax cut generated. In several areas they have imposed rates that are very damaging to output and transactions. As an act of policy they decided on tax hikes  to cut Buy to let investing, and to cut diesel car sales sharply. They were successful in both cases. It doesn’t mean it was a good idea.

When Mr Osborne proposed extra tax on hot take away food he had to back down in the face of opposition to the pasty tax. His caravan tax was not much more popular either, resulting in an amended scheme. He got away with his big hike in Stamp duties, but we live today with the damage it has done to the housing market. It has put off many people from switching to more suitable accommodation, and has made it more difficult for buyers in the dearer areas to afford a new home. His Buy to let tax has pushed out the smaller investors, favouring companies, but leaving a much reduced demand to buy and provide private rented properties.

This could be the budget when the George Osborne damage is reversed. Let’s go back to pre 2016 rates of Stamp Duty where today’s rates are higher, to allow more people to afford a home, and to allow the market for homes to clear better. Why do we want to prevent people trading down to a smaller property, or moving to a place closer to their work?  Why did Mr Osborne want to reduce work for estate agents, conveyancers, removal firms, renovators and furnishing businesses, as these all benefit from more transactions? If you tax dearer homes too much you can damage or stop chains of purchases and sales that may be necessary for people buying cheaper homes.

Mr Hammond did  damage to the  manufacture and sale of new diesel cars in the UK. This was an odd policy, given the government’s alleged concerns  about car manufacturing over Brexit matters. The imposition of very high Vehicle Excise  Duty rates on new diesels provides an incentive to people to keep old diesels for longer, and has hit  hard the UK manufacturers who have invested a lot in new cleaner diesel technology and who used to sell a lot of sophisticated diesel cars. The 25% fall in diesel car sales shows just how powerful the tax attack was. In this budget he should go back to 2016 levels of VED to help the UK industry, and to speed the change from dirtier old diesels to cleaner new diesels. The government says it is worried about levels of CO2 output. Diesels remain the better bet than petrol on this measure.

Cutting CGT would raise more money, as would cutting the 45% top rate of Income Tax. We need Income tax cuts for all, which I will discuss in a future piece.


  1. Roy Grainger
    October 26, 2018

    May and Hammond aren’t increasing tax to raise more money, they are doing so to punish people and things they disapprove of like rich people, big companies, drivers, landlords, people who eat sugar, and so on. It is the same list that Labour and the Church of England has. One assumes you Tory MPs knew this when you arranged for May to be installed as leader so it is too late to complain now.

    1. Anonymous
      October 26, 2018

      On sugar. Rather than challenge the obese they punish everybody.

      1. Lifelogic.
        October 27, 2018

        Indeed and all carbs – potatoes, rice, porridge, root veg, bread, fruits, legumes and the likes turn to glucose very quickly once eaten (just the same as sugar).

        So where is the rationale in just taxing sweet fizzy drinks?

    2. Richard
      October 26, 2018

      If the economist David B. Smith is right that “ the results of two tax reduction scenarios suggest that the UK may now be on the wrong side of the aggregate Laffer curve” then that must be true for several of our taxes – and our host gives examples.

      Economic theory & evidence indicates that UK GDP growth rates could now be significantly boosted by lower taxes: And an obvious way of mitigating those Project Fear scare stories.

      So why have HM Treasury & BoE steadily increased the UK’s fiscal & monetary tightening ever since March 2017? ( )

      Is the answer that HM Treasury wishes to ensure that “the UK is not better off outside than inside”?

      Do the Treasury & Cabinet Office agree with Brussels’ proposal that UK tax policy should be set to best benefit the EU Empire, rather than best for the UK?

      1. Richard
        October 26, 2018

        Excessive tax rates are currently gumming up our economy, hurting sensible transactions. So lets ‘heat up’ our economy a bit, lets have rwal terms wage rises that incentivise work and reduce the benefits bill.

        Another example: Our high streets can be supported cheaply by reducing high street business rates & capping council car parking stealth taxes. etc etc

        A larger economy will more easily support future government spending.

  2. sm
    October 26, 2018

    There you go again, John, speaking common sense to power….but sadly, we know ‘power’ isn’t listening.

  3. Nig l
    October 26, 2018

    It says something about this government up when the best, a loyal Rt Hon asks for, is it’s budget does no harm.

    So neither inspirational nor aspirational. Sums up Hammond and May. Labour broke cover yesterday with its proposal to increase taxes on the wealth generators earning over 70k. An open goal for you. Pity you don’t even think about kicking the ball, let alone put it in the net.

  4. Brigham
    October 26, 2018

    To me, it seems that Hammond has as much nous as Cable, when it comes to fiscal matters.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    October 26, 2018

    My big beef is the rate of VAT on almost everything. I am going down to London in a week or so to see my Son. I will be staying two nights at a ‘Budget’ hotel. The cost is £300. I am accutely aware that this includes 20% VAT .
    My question on is : why on earth do I have to hand over in the region of £60 to the taxman, for the privilege of having a brief break, just for the Government to spend on their vanity projects?
    I have been a lifelong Tory voter, but I am increasingly fed up with the taxes which are levied on just about everything now.

    1. John Hatfield
      October 26, 2018

      Absolutely CG. VAT is far too high. The government is ripping us off, tax it here, tax it there, in all directions.

    2. Anonymous
      October 26, 2018

      VAT on getting to work too !

    3. a-tracy
      October 27, 2018

      I’m not sure CG, you’ll get free access to all the museums, the roads and verges should be kept clean for you, you get capped Tube and bus charges , there are tonnes of parks, flowers, other planting, your rubbish generated during your visit will have to be taken away and God forbid you need to visit a local GP, emergency unit etc. In London it all has to be paid for and visitors to London need to pay their contribution.

      VAT is an equalising tax, everyone pays it including tax avoiders or foreign visitors. This reduces the tax we as National taxpayers have to contribute to London infrastructure investment like Crossrail, M25 improvements, new roads etc.

  6. Dave Andrews
    October 26, 2018

    Don’t forget employer’s NI contributions. For every 8 people a company employs, it’s like paying for an extra employee who does nothing.
    Employment should be something the government encourages, not to be taxed like it was a social evil they must do their utmost to eradicate.

  7. Peter
    October 26, 2018

    How about fixing the racket that is Inheritance Tax?

    I doubt it will get a mention. Too much money available to the state by robbing ordinary folk.

  8. Duncan
    October 26, 2018

    Why are the Tories so clueless? Is it a disease of some form? Is it their closeted upbringing that insulates from the aggressiveness of the real world?

    I understood Thatcher. I understood her reasoning and she was aggressive, confrontational and never backed down. She believed that the State should be our servant not our master and she never apologised for her correct beliefs.

    Unfortunately, we have a Tory party that’s been owned by the left.

    The Tories won’t cut direct taxes because the left’s declared this is evil and selfish. So the Tories refuse to cut tax to signal their cretinous virtue and hand the initiative to Marxist Labour rather than standing up and explaining why tax cuts are a fundamental part of re-setting the State-individual relationship.

    Tell people that tax cuts puts them back in charge.

    Tell people that tax cuts are people taking back their own money and taking back control of more of their income

    Neutralise the left and their bogus message. Tell people that the left’s only aim is to dominate and subjugate people politically.

    Tell people that Labour want to up your taxes to finance the construction of their Marxist client State.

    Tax rises essentially translate into a more powerful State. Tax cuts reduce the power of the State vis a vis the private person

    Someone please tell May and Hammond to stop pandering the left and handing them the political initiative. These two fools are clueless

    Learn from Thatcher and understand that the silent majority want tax cuts and a smaller State footprint. We know the State wastes money. We know we don’t waste our own money

    Start the process of destroying Labour’s client state before it’s too late. if Labour do achieve power this client state will become all enveloping and all-consuming

  9. Newmania
    October 26, 2018

    That awful Mr Osborne had us headed for topping out with Nat Debt at 80% of GDP.
    Mr Redwood , ( who cannot open his mouth without the word ‘spend’ emerging) obliged us to borrow an additional £200bn and debauche monetary Policy to disguise the Brexit recession.
    Now he wants tax cuts, in addition ,of course , to yet more spending .
    I look from Corbyn to Redwood and back again and increasingly find it hard to tell them apart

    Reply Nonsense. I want no increase in borrowing and have shown how we can afford both tax cuts and more domestic spending without extra borrowing!

    1. NickC
      October 26, 2018

      Newmania, You’re scraping the barrel a bit, aren’t you? The “debauch” of monetary policy started in 2009 to cope with Gordon Brown’s collapse of the house dependent UK banking sector. And “that awful Mr Osborne” could not have been disguising “the Brexit recession” both because there has been no recession, and because Mr Osborne was only in position as Chancellor before the Brexit vote.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    October 26, 2018

    Personally I would like to see the tax burden removed from people’s income onto the consumption. Necessities can be protected with a zero or low rate but everything else can be subject to a significant purchase tax. The tax burden will then fall on those who spend the most and can not be avoided. Mass immigration which apparently is good for the economy would actually raise some income for the government rather than just being an infrastructure and services cost.

    1. Wonky Moral Compass
      October 26, 2018

      Is VAT at 20% on most things not enough for you?

  11. Mark B
    October 26, 2018

    Good morning.

    . . . . no more damage to the UK economy from new and higher taxes.

    This coming from a Conservative MP about a supposedly Conservative Government and Chancellor.

    The announcements over the dispatch box are ‘raw meat’ for the back benches and party faithful. They are the ones that get the headlines. The ones that don’t come a little later. It is here is where the Chancellor takes back that which he gave previously e.g. Care Charges added to my Council Tax.

  12. oldtimer
    October 26, 2018

    These are all excellent proposals. I put the chances of any of them appearing in the Chancellor’s speech as zero. Common sense and this governments tax policy are uneasy bedfellows.

  13. ChrisS
    October 26, 2018

    We have discussed these matters many times here and today’s piece is a very precise menu of changes that are both logical and desirable.

    So why aren’t May and Hammond listening ?

    Is anyone around the cabinet table making these points and asking Hammond why he is damaging the economy in this way ?

    They certainly should be.

  14. percy openshaw
    October 26, 2018

    If only you were Chancellor, Mr Redwood; but unfortunately it seems we’re stuck with that prize goof, Hammond. Worse, we are still presided over – if that is the correct expression – by a stubborn, cowardly, incompetent PM. Please do your best to get rid of them both. Frankly, I dread this budget. I foresee tax rises and disincentives all over the place and further Tory unpopularity, with the concomitant danger of a Marxist Labour party gaining power. Fraser Nelson in today’s Telegraph spells out the dangers of Mrs May’s fake Brexit, which she may well force through with cynical Labour support. If that happens, you really must split from her, in order to supply an untainted, potentially popular centre right party.

    1. John Hatfield
      October 26, 2018

      Since Blair, Percy, haven’t we had too much ‘centre’?

  15. Anonymous
    October 26, 2018

    There a calls for more money to the NHS than the high street.

    Britain PLC is becoming a pension fund with a country attached to it.

    (The police are broke because they are having to fund lottery sized pension payouts to fifty year olds at a rate far higher than ever paid in and for longer than time actually served on duty.)

  16. Bob
    October 26, 2018

    I can remember when people could move home, trading up or down to suit their circumstances, but with the current penal stamp duty rates most people cannot afford to do that any more. Should one need to relocate for work or family reasons now you will be excessively hammered for stamp duty each time, especially if you live in London. It’s just plain wrongheaded (a bit like the Chancellor).

    As for business rates, we’ve seen what that’s done to businesses large and small and it’s all bad. He was a dreadful choice for the role of Chancellor.

    Whatever happened to the idea of tax simplification? Another broken promise?

  17. rick hamilton
    October 26, 2018

    Conservatives are supposed to be the party of smaller government, lower taxes and less intrusion into peoples’s lives.

    Unfortunately I am not in a position to finance a neon sign in Piccadilly Circus proclaiming this forgotten set of principles.

  18. Alan Jutson
    October 26, 2018

    Not a lot the Conservatives can be proud about of late really is there.

    Foreign aid still miss managed, Universal credit still in trials and needing modification, Education, NHS, Social Care, and Local Government all short of funds as are the Police and our armed forces.
    Brexit negotiations a total farce.
    Immigration policy still a failure of massive proportions.

    You seem to one of the very few that recognize much of the above, but the rest of your party just want to carry on as normal with the same leader and Chancellor.


  19. Stred
    October 26, 2018

    The attack on diesels is all the more surprising from a Conservative government when, after diesel cars are banned completely from the centre of London, the extension of lifespan for someone who has lived there for 80 years will be in around a week or days. This is shown in the publication of the Green groups which have been targeting diesel because it produces the same CO2 as a hybrid or electric car when embedded energy is taken into account. They will wreck our engine manufacturing industry.

  20. Mike Stallard
    October 26, 2018

    Mr Redwood, you are one of the very few people in government who can see – like Mr Trump could see – that the oxymoronic idea of reducing tax actually increases the intake.

    The trouble is that all the virtue signalling form the t.v. and radio shows one virtuous person after another complaining in loud angry voices that their pet project needs more and more money spent on it.

    Down here in the back of beyond, the amount wasted on new palaces for the Council, the salaries for what used to be voluntary and honorary positions and the idiotic spend on “artistic” and “community projects defies belief.

    Meanwhile, the railway is not reopened, the bins are not collected as they used to be and the town centre, though heaped with flowers, is a waste land.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    October 26, 2018

    Mrs May, as we have come to expect, says one thing and does another on most things. She partakes in the weekly school ground like name calling with Corbyn. She then goes on to try and present your party as Labour lite thereby doing part of his work for him. Does she really think that people will vote for the pale imitation when they can have the real thing? Who would have thought that one of the worst leaders in Labour’s history would have been so successful in moving politics so far to the left?

  22. formula57
    October 26, 2018

    Maladroit Chancellor Hammond’s past sins include of course the attempt to punitively tax the self-employed, with rises timed to apply progressively in the lead-up to the next scheduled election date. As I recall, you and some of your colleagues thwarted that attack.

    We cannot expect a budget for Brexit Britain, enterprising and thriving as she should be, from this wretched Chancellor but let us hope for an emergency budget from his successor in the very near future that can deliver for the people.

  23. Sir Joe Soap
    October 26, 2018

    So basically you want to rewind to Labour and its policies of the noughties?
    I’m sure at least half your wish will be granted in fairly short measure. Unfortunately it’ll be the wrong half. You’ve held on to T May & Co. too long now for the damage to be reversed.

  24. Peter Parsons
    October 26, 2018

    Going back to pre-2016 rates of Stamp Duty would increase the Stamp Duty for everyone buying a property costing less than £937,000 (i.e. most people) compared to now. How does increasing Stamp Duty make it more affordable?

    Reply I meant where the rates are currently higher!

  25. a-tracy
    October 26, 2018

    There is a fabulous article on Comment Central by Dr Paul Goldsmith called “We can solve Britains regional imbalance” that articulates my decade-long thoughts on this problem perfectly. Outcomes – over – activity!

    I read that Dyson got a bruising from Ferrari at LBC about building the new generation of electric cars in Singapore. A £2.5bn investment and he didn’t put it in England what a sad indictment of either our education system as he sites lack of skills in the UK for the problem or our political set up that he couldn’t be encouraged to grow a high tech futuristic plant here.

    What really struck home was that Ferrari mentioned he had received British taxpayers funds to research and develop this product, £16 million is a tiny speck towards the £2.5bn total investment but why has Dyson not felt that Durham, Newcastle and Leeds Universities, as just one example of a new technical triangle that could be developed, could produce sufficient graduates of sufficient technical know how to bring this about with guidance from experts in a much-needed area of investment, high skilled job growth and the inflowing higher value properties, create pursuits etc that always follow the money. BUT I wondered does this mean that the corporation taxes from this plant come into the UK as Dyson is promoted as a UK company?

    1. John Hatfield
      October 26, 2018

      I believe that the R&D for the electric cars to be built in Singapore was done in the UK. I understand production costs are cheaper in Singapore.

      1. Stred
        October 27, 2018

        And Singapore will be outside the EU, but the UK will be effectively in it. We stay in the EU to please Japanese and German car makers in a protected market but our new car maker finds it is better to leave and work in a world market.

      2. a-tracy
        October 27, 2018

        I’d love someone to challenge the production costs are cheaper in Singapore, how can they be with such a high tech product often made by robots? What are the corporation tax rates in Singapore? VAT? Do they have Employer’s costs such as PAYE admin. Employers NI, social cost of SMP/SPL/SSP, how does their holiday pay compare? Do they have compulsory Employers pension contributions, Business Rates etc. They must be much lower otherwise the transport costs back into the large car market in the UK would be too high.

  26. Bryan Davies
    October 26, 2018

    Yes there have been some stupid taxes thought up but I doubt if they were the creation of politicians – more likely the out of touch Civil Service in the Treasury.

  27. Adam
    October 26, 2018

    Tax exists to fund Govt & reduce unwanted behaviour.

    Deal with the problem at source. Dump the misbehaving Chancellor & raise money better.

  28. ian
    October 26, 2018

    As long as he allocates the money for a no deal Brexit I will him past rating this time around.

  29. Denis Cooper
    October 26, 2018

    After his interview on the BBC this morning, JR, your neighbour Alok Sharma will need a lot of extra resources to help him deal with all those people who are going to contact him directly over their problems with universal credit … as with Brexit, critics deliberately sow confusion between those problems which are only transitional and those which may persist even when the end state has been reached – if that ever happens with Brexit.

  30. agricola
    October 26, 2018

    Yes I would like that too, at least as a starting block to a much needed post Brexit economy. I fear however that we are presided over by a left of centre government wedded to spending other peoples money to redress what they see as social lack of balance. However they will not tackle those in real need through no fault of their own. I doubt that any Hammond budget will drag the Conservatives back to their roots.

  31. bigneil
    October 26, 2018

    Of course they need more taxes. They are waving in hundreds of thousands of financial burdens a year. All those burdens are coming for a taxpayer funded life. Housed, benefits, NHS, kids schooling and translators for most of them. All while sitting down and watching us get poorer and poorer. Another form of raising taxation is giving less and less services in return for our taxes. Bin collections going to once a month should do well for diseases, rats etc and increase the number going to the already over stretched NHS, who have to pay for translators for their ever increasing in numbers,non-tax-contributory customers ( who take up multiple appointment times).

    1. Anonymous
      October 26, 2018

      I know one who – having moved here – has moved her elderly parents over so they can get all that the NHS has to offer.

  32. Duncan
    October 26, 2018

    I have just read an article suggesting that Tory voters put May way ahead of Johnson for the Tory leadership. Last month May was on her way out. Who invents this crap? Is it massaging voters perceptions? What tedious nonsense. The only thing keeping the treacherous May in her job is

    Marxist Labour
    Spineless 1922 Ctte

    She’s a liberal left grotesque unfit to be a Tory leader. It is a disgrace that Tory MPs even countenance her position and agree with her ‘values’, not that she any values or principles. May will sell her soul to the devil and our freedoms down the plughole to bend to the will of the activist left

    Tory MPs have become little more than state employees hanging around for their pensions and May is their best bet

    Just very sad to see the party sinking in terms of strong moral values in the face of political activism

    It’s bad enough seeing the death of a once moral and proud party namely Labour (died in the 1970’s) but to see the bastion of strong moral values, the Tories, die along with it, is heart-breaking.

  33. Hope
    October 26, 2018

    Hammond and May claim to be low tax conservatives as did Cameron before! Your blog shows ad evidences that you do not believe them!

    Polls show collapse in trusting May to deliver Brexit. 78 percent of people think May will fail to deliver Brexit. Moreover, the poll shows they also do not believe Tory MPs. This is a vote loser for any election if ever there was. Deservedly so. The dishonest (Kitkat policy to hide costs and ties to EU) campaign to undermine Brexit by May and Hammond could and should have been stopped long ago. The last straw should have been 08/12/2017 when May ran off at night to sell out the country. It was clear then as I and many moths pointed out. We read today ministers are just waking up to it! Are they that dull?

    Hammond will not deliver there is no zip about him, no creative, no financial strategic thinking, no interest in public opinion or for Tory support. He is a blinkered bone head like May. They carry on with their small team of loyal advisors thinking they are above public opinion. No wonder they cannot defeat Corbyn. The likes of Gordon Brown, loathed PM, would romp home against them. Your party is in big trouble. No one will ever believe anyone from your party again. The total lack of trust delivered by May.

    1. Largehosier
      October 28, 2018

      I fear you are correct. I can see serious rioting and civil unrest if the people really do finally get betrayed with no proper Brexit.

      Why do we not have a leader who is excited and passionate about the wider world opportunities ahead, who has the vision to make us a low tax, thriving economy?

      I can only surmise it is to do with peace in Europe? If we make a go of leaving, that would be it for EU?

  34. Denis Cooper
    October 26, 2018

    I wonder whether Philip Hammond will remember to mention the billions of extra tax that unspecified “WTO rules” would legally force him to raise by the imposition of non-existent “World Trade Organisation tariffs” on imports from the EU if we left without a deal:

    “No-deal Brexit could raise price of mince by 50%, meat industry says”

    “Burgers and spag bol could be priced out of many families’ reach, NFU conference hears”

    “Speaking at a National Farmers’ Union conference in London she said no deal would mean huge food inflation, with World Trade Organisation tariffs highest on food products.

    This is because Britain eats more than twice as much beef as it produces and is highly reliant on imports.

    Beef imports would be on average 62% more expensive across all cuts, sheep meat up 57%, and pork and poultry up 32% and 31% respectively in a WTO scenario.”

    Is there any chance that the government will contradict this nonsense?

    Of course not, the same story is repeated again and again at intervals with variations, David Davis never did anything to have it or any other anti-Brexit scare stories rebutted and even less will Dominic Raab, in fact there is a strong suspicion that the government itself originates a fair proportion of the constant anti-Brexit propaganda.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 26, 2018

      “Brexit could KILL 5,600 people a year by making fruit and veg unaffordable meaning their diets are no longer healthy enough, warns Oxford University researcher”

      “In a hard Brexit scenario in which the UK has to use World Trade Organisation rules, the researchers say tariffs of between 32 and 51 per cent could have to be paid on foods like sugar and meat.

      Their scenarios suggested a hard Brexit would mean 270,000 tonnes fewer vegetables per year eaten in the UK, and 330,000 tonnes fewer fruits.”

      And a spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said … NOTHING, as has almost always been the case under David Davis and under Dominic Raab, and when they do say anything it is such a pathetic feeble response that it actually lends weight to the anti-Brexit propaganda.

      1. NickC
        October 27, 2018

        Denis Cooper, You raise important points about the total nonsense of these enormous non-existent tariffs – sometimes even called “WTO tariffs” – and the non-existent rebuttals of such fake news.

        Perhaps JR can be encouraged to write a post to explain to the rather dim Remain cabals that control the government and the BBC, that the WTO is not a proscriptive organisation, unlike the EU. And that the WTO does not impose its own tariff levels, again unlike the EU.

    2. a-tracy
      October 27, 2018

      I’d have thought the NFU would have been estastic over this news, increasing the size of their local markets, removing their competition from the EU?

      Although if people start cutting down on meat consumption altogether it could turn on them in years to come I guess.

      Plus haven’t big alternative World markets said they could provide for any shortfall at the same cost to consumers?

  35. Peter Drummond
    October 26, 2018

    As usual, Mr Redwood write common sense, would that he were Chancellor.

    October 26, 2018

    Is it going to be another budget: “…and there’ll be a penny off a pint of beer ” to encourage the whatever it is? Most budgets from Brown-Osborne-Hammond are full of such Grand Leap Forwards. It’s pretty meaningless anyway when those triplets only ever manage a half.

  37. Andy
    October 26, 2018

    Unfortunately Mr Hammond has no choice.

    He has to tax us more to pay for your Brexit bill. This is your bill but you expect us all to pay for it. I’d rather he cut taxes and helped make us all richer but, instead, he is making us all poorer as you desire.

    Brexit will cost my children £108,000 each between now and 2050 – according to the latest research. Obviously you do not care about that. Nor does Mr Johnson – it’s a few months worth of angry ranting newspaper columns for him. And Mr Rees Mogg makes £108k every 7.5 months from his second job, advising rich people to invest in Dublin to avoid the risks of Brexit.

    Still at least other Brexiteers have shown their faith in Brexit Britain. Lord Lawson by applying for residency in France – up til now he’s been exercising his right to free movements, something he is taking away from the young. Herr Farage is getting ein passport Deutsch. And James Dyson is building his hoovers (hoovers are better) in Singapore. Not so much Global Britain and Global Brexiteers.

    If you are really serious about cutting taxes then you’d advocate scrapping your costly Brexit, you’d axe old age benefits and you’d slash pensions. The solution to lower taxes is staring you all in the face. Pensions and spending on the old is, by far, the biggest chunk of government spending. But most of you benefit personally from these things – so that government spending must be good, right? It’s only government spending on other people which is bad.

    Personally, I’d axe all state pensions. Scrap free bus passes and TV licenses. The winter fuel payment would go. You know it gets cold in February. Budget for it. If you need social care the state will only pay when all your assets are gone – in other words you have to sell your house if necessary. And over 70s should also be required to pay extra for the NHS – seeing that they use it most. When the Tories were vaguely decent Mr Cameron said ‘We’re all in this together.” He should have added “except pensioners.” It’s time now for the Baby Boomers – the most selfish generation in history – to finally be forced to do their share.

    1. a-tracy
      October 27, 2018

      Andy, you do make me chuckle, if you axe State pensions can pensioners get their NI contributions back compounded, plus their Employer’s contributions? 25% over the Lel!.

      Then if pensioners had private medical and only used their current rate of £150 NHS doctor can they get this rebated and when the Labour Party introduced private dentistry and higher charges, and hospitals introduced parking costs for all those pensioners that visit and use more are you going to rebate that to pensioners whose State pension you axe.

      If a private pension and medical provider reneged on a policy agreement they would have to pay back and extra for the stress they cause.

    2. NickC
      October 27, 2018

      Andy, How rich we are depends solely on our own efforts. The EU cannot make us richer, since every increase in the size of the EU’s single market is matched by increased competition from other European businesses – again meaning our wealth is solely down to our own efforts, even within the EU. And luck of course.

      Your continual whinge that we will be poorer because of Brexit is false on two further fronts. Firstly Chequers is not Leave. Secondly you have no evidence. It is no good quoting supposed “experts” mere predictions when they have repeatedly shown they are not, in fact, expert. Their guesses just don’t work.

      You have produced a long diatribe based on no more than non-expert guesses and hatred of your father’s generation. You may be easily satisfied by such propaganda but we are not. We think we will be better off out of the EU. Above all we will be free and independent.

    3. L Jones
      October 27, 2018

      Oh dear, Andy. You sound like someone has either cut you out of their will, or perhaps refused to fund your chosen lifestyle to the extent that you think they should. A Baby Boomer relative, perhaps?

  38. Lifelogic
    October 26, 2018

    Indeed we need all of the above cuts as you say:- In several areas they have imposed rates that are very damaging to output and transactions.

    The absurd complexity is hugely inefficient in itself too (unless you regard tax planning and paying huge fees to advisors are fun that is). As you say the main areas where P Hammond and the treasury have gone mad are:-

    28% CGT tax (without even indexation), the double taxation of landlord interest (once on the bank and then on landlord too), the absurd stamp duty rates of up to 15%, the ratting on the £1Million each IHT threshold promised many moons ago by Osborne, the attacks on private pension savings, the taxes on insurance he had increase hugely, the regulatory restrictions on bank lending are causing massive damage and deterring investment.

    Lets face it Hammond is just an economic illiterate, a menace to the real economy, to it ability to compete and a huge electoral liability as well. There is so much fat in the state sector available to be cut. Many people in the state sector just do positive harm.

    Start with HS2, Hinkley C, about half the staff, all the greencrap subsidies, the over payment of state sector staff by about 50% relative to the private sector (when pensions are included), most overseas aid is hugely corrupt and does little of value, defence spending is hugely incompetent, the police have almost given up completely on real crimes, refuse collection is a joke, the NHS is breath takingly inefficient and kills thousands, at least half university degrees are almost pointless, most schools are very poorly run …….

  39. dennisambler
    October 26, 2018

    With regard to diesels, the government is in thrall to the NGO’s who are fighting to get rid of cars altogether. On the one hand they are told they must reduce CO2 to “save the planet”, even though we are already at the UN projected figure of 1.5C without the accompanying projected disasters.

    In fact temperatures are now 2 degrees higher than 1820 and 1.5 C higher than 1890, according to one of the main players in these statistics, Berkley Earth and reported by highly regarded US climate scientist Judith Curry.

    Improved temperatures since the end of the Little Ice Age are surely to be welcomed, but there is no evidence anywhere that CO2 is responsible for that improvement, just 100’s of computer models using other computer models, which use other computer models, with scarce data, adjusted data and guess work.

    On the other hand the government is frightened of litigation over NOx levels, a strategy pursued by US lawyer group, Client Earth. (Not for profit but not for nothing). We have scary figures thrown out about “40,000 premature deaths” which are based on zero evidence. In fact diesel cars are a minor contributor to NOx emissions, of which there are plenty of natural sources also.

    We now have the Sword of Damocles hanging over the car industry of no internal combustion engines by 2040, by which time those making such pronouncements will not be held responsible for their foolishness. The considerable taxation they now take will have to be taken from EV’s, if they can provide the electricity for them. Perhap’s I’ll buy a diesel truck.

    We are all saddled with the mega costs of the Climate Change Act, whilst China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the rest of SE Asia are busily installing new coal fired power stations. China is funding and building coal-fired stations in Africa. Getting rid of this economic albatross should be the priority for post-Brexit, but unfortunately too many MP’s are happy to swallow the CO2 mantra.

    Think what modern mining techniques could do for the British economy if we were to retrieve the coal reserves we have, instead of blowing up old coal fired power stations. Together with our own gas reserves, the future could be bright, if someone were to grasp the nettle, as President Trump has done.

  40. Him
    October 26, 2018


  41. Bob
    October 26, 2018

    Parliament will not be able to change the customs backstop once the UK signs up to it.

    A state of permanent vassalage for the world’s fifth largest economy.

    Brought to you by the Quisling Tories.

    1. Gary C
      October 26, 2018

      Parliament will not want to change the customs backstop once the UK signs up to it.


      1. Bob
        October 26, 2018


        It will when UKIP sweeps to power in 2022!

  42. Scabbard
    October 26, 2018

    Stats say that men have caught up with women in living longer and increasing, than their wives. It struck me, property rights after “a loved!” dies should be made easier for inheritance.
    MPs should intrioduce a Bill…to that effect!

  43. Den
    October 26, 2018

    Sound advice as usual but who will listen in the Treasury? Have they or any Chancellor ever consulted the backbenchers for their input? And acted upon it?
    I do wonder who actually is in charge at the Treasury. Is it the Chancellor or the Mandarins who will always wish to do their own thing, regardless of any other ideas. This would explain their appallingly inaccurate forecasts deduced from a dud computer model that bears little resemblance to the real world. And the total discrediting of their pre-referendum scaremongering figures should have shut down the model and its disciples, for good.
    Sadly, it has not and they still reign supreme and will continue to do so until we get a PM and a Chancellor who have the Leadership qualities to bring them to order or remove them from their posts.

  44. Lifelogic
    October 26, 2018

    Some uplifting vision is also required as confidence for investment is very important. Hammond and May do nothing for vision or confidence as they are wrong headed on everything. High taxing, building on EU workers rights, controlling pay and prices, over regulating everything, attacking the gig economy, gender pay gap drivel, taxing everything to death, expensive unreliable energy, very poor public servicesm full of green crap ……

  45. fedupsoutherner
    October 26, 2018

    The extra tax on diesel cars is nonsense. As you say John, why tax newer, cleaner cars? It’s just a tax that will go straight into the governments coffers and won’t do anything to reduce emissions anyway. The car industry has been hit hard so what good is that going to do? More jobs at risk along with the closure of many stores. The unemployment rate will soon be rising and that will be put down to Brexit. Get rid of Hammond and May.

  46. a-tracy
    October 26, 2018

    There is lots of harm in the UK caused by Smart Motorways and 50mph bunching traffic. Yet another traffic collision on the M6 at J19 the whole M6 Northbound and Southbound snagged up every Friday. There is at least one accident every week.

    1. Alan Jutson
      October 26, 2018

      a tracy

      Agreed, so called smart motorways are a disaster and major accident waiting to happen, not just once, but many times over.
      How can so many people forget that a hard shoulder was put in place originally as a safety refuge 30- 40 years ago, when traffic density was much lower than it is now !

      Dumb and backward thinking as time will tell.

  47. JoolsB
    October 26, 2018

    No doubt our Socialist Chancellor will find ever more ways to tax us more, especially us English. It’s about time this anti-English government created a level playing field and stopped seeing England as nothing more than a cash cow for the benefit of the rest of the UK and world. English taxes are providing goodies for the rest of the UK that are denied to England thus causing blatant discrimination against England’s young, sick and elderly. No doubt council tax, the most unfair and punitive tax there is, will go up but only in England of course to pay for the gaping big hole in England’s social care budget stripped of billions by this Tory Government. There is already talk of income tax going up to pay for the NHS, again only in England. This Tory Government are slashing English services to the bone yet Hammond could find an extra 4 billion in the last budget to give to the devolved nations who already receive much much more of English taxes per head than the English. Scotland are setting their own tax rates, and no doubt Wales will follow, but UK MPs will still decide on the cash cow that is England’s tax rates. Why are people in Scotland still being so heavily subsided by the English yet don’t start paying the higher tax rate of 41% until they reach earnings of £43,431 and above compared to the mugs in England who start paying at the 40% rate on earnings of £34,501 and above.

    You purport to speak for England John and yet no doubt the brunt of next week’s budget will fall on the hard pressed English. It’s time for 650 self serving UK MPs to let go and give England the same powers as the rest of the dis-UK so then, and only then, can England expect to be treated fairly in this so called union and see more of it’s hard earn cash spent on us for a change instead of Hammond and May trying to find ever more ways to squeeze even more out of us.

    No doubt these comments will stay in moderation for the foreseeable future.

    1. a-tracy
      October 27, 2018

      JoolB agree with much of what you say about English cash cows, from parking charges, prescription charges, social care cost charging etc. But I want to cheer you up slightly as the 40% tax rate in England doesn’t start until £46,351. If you’re an unfortunate high earning English grad in Scotland you pay your 40% tax rate earlier plus your 9% graduate tax contribution (student fees) your Scottish colleagues don’t have this hanging around their necks for 30 years which gives them a better standard of living on the same salary.

  48. Iain Gill
    October 26, 2018

    push up the price of work visas

    start charging the same rate of national insurance (both employers and employees) for foreign workers here on work visas as what locals pay

    only allow tax free payments (as supposed expenses) to foreign workers in this country that a Brit working far from home within the UK would be able to get

    charge full price for schooling of children of any family where the adults are here on work visas, from countries where British families in reciprocal circumstances would have to pay to school their children

    charge full price for medical care for all family members where nobody in the family is entitled to indefinite leave to remain in the UK

    action to tackle profits being funneled abroad in complex company structures so that profits are only declared in havens

    1. a-tracy
      October 27, 2018

      Iain, what is the argument against charging the same NI rates employee and employer?

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    October 26, 2018

    I don’t disagree with any of your proposed tax changes but there a couple of others. Business rates for high street premises should be substantially reduced and business rates should be levied on warehouses. Pensioners should pay NI, bearing in mind that they will be the main beneficiaries of the proposed increased NHS spending.

    A glaring omission is that you have failed to advocate restraint on public expenditure. The medical profession and the drugs companies are out of control. They believe that taxpayers are bound to pick up the tab for ever more powerful drugs (plus pills to counteract side effects) in order to prolong the fag end of life. T’aint so. As a quid pro quo for increased NHS resources, simple charges should be introduced – e.g. £20 per doctor’s appointment and £150 per annum for unlimited use of the hospital system. Mental health care for young people should be prioritised over geriatric medicine. It is estimated that 20% of medical interventions are unnecessary. It is high time that we found out which 20%.

    Care in the home should be financed by central government but administered by local government. Only by having both health care and home care financed by central government will the door be open to end bed blocking. Care in the home is on average only a quarter of hospital care.

    HS2 and Heathrow are the wrong projects for central government. HS2 should be cancelled and projects like Heathrow and/or Gatwick should be financed by individual airports. The British Airports Authority should be disbanded.

    Regulators in a variety of roles should be disbanded. We don’t need OFGEN and possibly not OFCOM. The Race Relations Commission does positive damage.

    I could go on but I’m weary of having to say the same things.

  50. ian
    October 26, 2018

    Knowing what I think I know now, Mrs May situation of what to do doesn’t look good, you have EU blocking negations to see if they can get a second vote, back by majority MPs in parliament and lords, there is no way the withdrawal bill can be put before parliament as it is with Ireland backstop in it and the EU know that, EU has always had a second vote if things do not go their way, so as far the EU is concerned, no more talks till we win a new vote.

    Mrs May can extend article 50 which would mean there is going to be the second vote or Mrs May just wants to sit on the fence for longer too do nothing.

    Mrs May can trigger a no deal before Christmas recess in parliament and have Phil give an emergency budget but then there is no going back, Mrs May never struck me as a person who would go for a clear-cut decision.

  51. Al
    October 26, 2018

    “The main thing I want from the Budget is no more damage”

    I find it very sad that this is being said about a budget issued by what used to be the party of growth, enterprise and innovation. After the last two however, I suspect most of the country shares this view. I certainly do.

    Personally I’d settle for the Chancellor not having to rollback his proposals within twenty-four hours this time.

  52. ian
    October 26, 2018

    EU is now in full control and will be taking over most of the UK budget by 2021 if there is a vote to stay in or extension to article 50, it comes down to full capitulation for the UK either way or triggers a no deal.

  53. ian
    October 26, 2018

    What this about taking over more of UK budget by the EU, yes, cooperation tax and VAT both to be harmonised after 2021 with the EU fixing the levels and exemptions allowed and will go on to income tax and so on with benefits coming last. they already what country can borrow to 2% GDP and want lower it to zero.

  54. ian
    October 26, 2018

    Then you have to think about your armed forces being run down ready to be handed over to the EU with its budget.

  55. ian
    October 26, 2018

    Don’t forget that after 2021, every country in the EU must get ready to join the euro by 2025.

  56. Lifelogic.
    October 26, 2018

    Lots more tosh on the BBC radio 4 today linking coastal erosion (particularly on the Norfolk East Coast to “man made climate change”. Soft coasts will of course always tend to erode when large waves hit them, what a surprise. We were, after all, connect to the continent not all that long ago sea level have been rising slowly for a long time in that area (and long before C02 emissions rose due to coal, gas & oil and the alarmist religion took hold). Is Baroness Brown (Nat Sci Cam) a scientist or just another green crap politician/priest?

    What is the cheapest way to deal with our coastal errosion?

    A. Retreat
    B. Protect the coasts with breakwaters and sea defences as best we can.
    C. Go for lower UK C02 emissions (an irrelevant tiny percentage of total emissions) at vast expense and kid yourself you are saving the World! The BBC seems to want C!

    Oh for some more sound and honest scientists and engineers. A & B make sense depending on the coast concerned. C makes no sense at all. Then we had more project fear (the BBC scaremongering about all the migrants at Calais coming to Dover).

    The BBC agenda on nearly everything is just idiotic & appalling, totally irrational and unscientific group think – but doubtless cheered on by T May and P Hammond.

  57. WeToldYou_No_EU
    October 26, 2018

    More of the ‘bull’ from Project FearMongers, is shot down in flames:-
    French Regional President Xavier Bertrand has dismissed the idea of a ‘go slow’ policy at the port of Calais if there is a No Deal Brexit, asking:

    “Who can believe such a thing?”

    Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab had suggested that in the worst case scenario, French disruption could lead to problems.

    But Bertrand, who is Regional President for Hauts-De-France was gobsmacked and responded to the reports by tweeting:

    “No! Closing the port or the tunnel of Calais to the British in case of Brexit without agreement is not envisaged!

    “Who can believe such a thing?

    We must do everything to ensure fluidity.

    “The Hauts-de-France area and Calais are Planning to Implement a fast pass pour augmenter fluidity at both ports & tunnel.

    “Who on earth could think that a go-slow approach would be good for business?”

    Bertrand also tweeted a photo of him with the British Transport Minister Chris Grayling, making clear that he had been working with Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart and “local economic players to ensure the smooth flow of both sides of the Channel”

    “Disruption following a No Deal Brexit is not in the interests of business in the UK or the EU and inaccurate Project Fear from before the referendum is continuing now”.

  58. forthurst
    October 26, 2018

    Why refer to people who borrow money to purchase properties to rent to those who would rather buy their own homes at affordable prices, investors? What societal benefit is there in borrowing money or assets in order to invest in another asset class with the hope of achieving a capital gain or a rental stream. There is statis in the property market in many places because the prices asked are well above market clearing levels. Is this because property is locked into borrow-to-buy-to-let portfolios which are now below the water line? When some banksters borrowed gold for the yen carry trade and caught a cold on the gold price, they were bailed out by the English taxpayer to the tune of £7bn. Quite apart from whether these people ever create added value, how many actually pay tax to the Exchequer rather than sequestering their assets and income in tax havens?

    The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders blame the present downturn in sales on the “demonisation of diesel”, the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and supply issues as a result of a possible “no deal” Brexit. It is not clear why a possible future supply chain issue would affect the demand for new cars now. However, the WLTP, which cannot be fudged, will tip diesel cars out of the savetheplanet category; it was nevertheless rather stupid of the government to hit the sales of vehicles which they had previously encouraged people to buy without giving manufacturers time to adjust their manufacturing capacity.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 26, 2018

      “What societal benefit is there in borrowing money or assets in order to invest in another asset class with the hope of achieving a capital gain or a rental stream.”

      There is of course a huge benefit. Just as when someone invests in cars, commercial properties, trucks or any other plant equipment to rent. As is shown by the demand to rent these products. Not everyone wants to buy a property for all sort of reasons. The more properties available to rent or buy the better for all and the lower the rents.

    2. Stred
      October 27, 2018

      Petrol and diesel cars were sold on false EU test figures. The new WLTP test will reveal figures nearer to real performance but diesel will still be 20% more efficient for CO2.

  59. Ron Olden
    October 26, 2018

    I agree wit this.

    There’s no reason to announce any tax changes in this budget save for a few around the margins which we always need to make the tax system work better.

    I would however announce 100% Capital Allowances for businesses, starting now and ending on March 31st 2020 and maybe a move towards the Irish Corporation Tax System where Trading Companies pay 12.5%.

    Perhaps the change could come in on April 1st 2020 when my suggested 100% Capital Allowances end.

    All that will see us through this alleged Brexit ‘Uncertainty’ encouraging businesses to maintain and bring forward their capital investment, and hold out the prospect of them paying less tax on it when their investment becomes profitable.

    The net effect would likely be to more revenue in time but provide for a small targeted short term fiscal stimulus now.

    Any extra cash for Universal Credit can wait till the Spring Statement.

  60. Narrow Shoulders
    October 26, 2018

    Many of the perceived losses from Universal credit arise from claimants no longer being paid tax credits for more than two children and child benefit for the first child being paid at the same rate as subsequent children.

    These changes are coming in regardless of Universal credit. really could not present a free pint to an alcoholic.

  61. Steve
    October 26, 2018

    “The government says it is worried about levels of CO2 output.”

    Not surprised, there must be a fair amount liberated in the House of Commons and Lords.

    Personally I don’t buy into this CO2 racket. If there is a problem it’s political, not environmental. China and India with populations of over a billion each…..and they all want cars and utility energy.

    Rather than admit who is stinking the planet out, we, as a small island and a population of say ~60M get crucified over the scam price of energy and motor fuels and told it is for environmental reasons.

    Taxing the backsides off us will not even touch CO2 levels, but will rake in serious money for the government. The government and their tree hugging bedfellows can export their scam to China and India as far as I’m concerned.

    As for the budget, well what do the details matter ? We’re going to get screwed over, we always do. However the exciting thing about this one is Hammond. It’ll be a pleasure to see that chinless incompetent boost the conservative’s electoral chances.

    Great isn’t it ?….a PM who’s only real action at a time when the survival of British sovereignty is at grave risk, is to pull off the crappiest dance routine to perhaps the cheesiest music ever recorded.

    (Don’t fear the reaper by Blue Oyster Cult, or; I predict a riot by Kaiser Chiefs would have been more appropriate.)

    And a Chancellor who performs as he looks.

    Man do I have confidence in this Government ! To screw us over, that is.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 26, 2018

      May’s appalling socialist government is even more appalling that those of Ted Heath, John Major and Dave Cameron’s which quite a high threshold.

      Who will rid us of this dire, visionless, robotic, Brexit in name only electoral liability?

    2. Anonymous
      October 26, 2018

      What is coincidental about CO2 and the EU ?

      Both suggest socialism as the solution to problems.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 27, 2018

        Both are false solutions too. scientifically and economically false.

  62. mancunius
    October 26, 2018

    John, are you aware of the report by Dan Hannan that he has been shown part of the WA in which May has promised all EU citizens in this country the right to vote in all our elections (including General Elections)?
    It was reported yesterday in the Telegraph and Guardian.

    If true, it should not be allowed to remain part of any Agreement.

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