Headroom for tax cuts

Briefings from Treasury and OBR say little room for tax cuts. This is all based on OBR forecasts which have been wildly wrong in recent years. They have mainly been too pessimistic about revenues, greatly exaggerating the deficit.

The government must help itself by curbing spending and correcting obvious forecasting errors. Here are some key items.

1 Debt jnterest has soared thanks to the addition of the non cash item of indexing debt to the genuine cash payments and costs of higher interest burdens. Having terrified us with a surge to over £100 bn of so called debt interest, we should see a big drop of at least £35 bn in interest costs going forwards as the inflation rate this year subsides. They only showed £17 bn of this in the budget numbers.

2. The government has promised to cut legal migration by 300,000. This will create substantial savings on additional subsidised  benefit top ups, revenue costs of extra  NHS and education service and the additional capital costs of extra provision. New arrivals need subsidised homes, school places for children and health capacity.  This should save  £75 bn over the next few years using the old EU number on costs adjusted upwards  for recent inflation.

3.There should be a write back for losses on Bulb which were probably overstated in the provisions

4.Cancel gilt sales by Bank of England.  With overall Bank losses currently running at £34 bn so far this year, ending market sales at low prices would save a substantial part of this

5. Get public sector productivity up by half the amount lost since 2019. Thus would save an estimated £15 bn

6 Re phase and require much larger private sector contributions to any carbon capture and storage projects. We cannot afford £20 bn public money or anything like it on this.

7. Railways  – Require faster reduction of deficit and grants


  1. Mark B
    February 1, 2024

    Good morning.

    The government has promised to cut legal migration by 300,000.

    Sorry, Sir John but that joke is no longer funny. In fact, what we need to do is discourage all those that came here and ask them to leave if they can no longer provide for themselves and their dependants.

    New arrivals need subsidised homes, school places for children and health capacity.

    As I have said before. No other country offers this and, I for one do not want my tax money being used to subsidies wage competitors. You would not do that in business, ie subsidies your competitors, so why should I be ask to do the same.

    The rest is self inflicted and will not be changed. The OBR and the Treasury along with the rest of the Government should have been cutting spending long, long ago. But no fear, as soon as the markets realise we cannot meet our commitments, it will force change.

    It is time to batten down the hatches, we are in for a rough ride.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      I caught a train yesterday Southampton Airport to Camb. via London cost circa £64 So 50p a mile and had to stand for about 75% of the totql journey. By car I could have taken 5 people for the same figure, If trains are so efficient why are they so expensive? And this journey was one with a good direct train line, most journeys do not have this.

      Total ditch net zero, Carbon Capture and Storage Projects as they are mad in economic, practical and environmental terms. No sensible private company will invest in this lunacy without huge tax pay subsidies/bribes or government foolishly rigging the markets.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 1, 2024

        EV battery fires requiring the fire service running at 1 every two days it seems. Are they still allowed on ferries, trains, tighly packed car parks and in the channel tunnel?

        1. Hope
          February 2, 2024

          JR, it no longer pays to work for a salary between 100-150,000 because of high taxation. No wonder your party’s own minister has to give up. It does not pay to work, strive or get on in life under your party. Hunt is an absolute disaster. His plan he rants on about is dead as a dodo.

        2. Berkshire Alan
          February 2, 2024

          I see reported another bus fire in London, three now in 3 weeks!
          I have said the same about ferries and the tunnel, as has my firefighting neighbour, but yes still allowed at the moment, but for how much longer I wonder.
          I see it is also reported that some insurance companies are putting terms and restrictions on house insurance policies about the parking of EV ‘s near or in the home (integral or attached garage)
          This net Zero policy seems to have a growing number of multiple unintended consequences, not that Insurance Companies need any excuses to raise premiums and reduce their claims risk.

        3. graham1946
          February 2, 2024

          Yesterday I received my car insurance renewal offer – 60 per cent higher than last year. Never made a claim, have maximum NCD. No doubt we are paying for all the electric car fires and the fact that they cannot be easily repaired and require specialist treatment. Not going to accept. Going to see what the ‘markets’ can offer. Total rip off. And still some want our NHS run on insurance. Fine until you get old, just like the life policies they sold us cheap and are practically worthless when it comes near to paying out even after paying premiums for 40 years or more. Is anything straight anymore in this country? Everything seems bent or corrupt these days.

    2. Peter Wood
      February 1, 2024

      Highest taxation in 70 years, and yet the government is still increasing total government debt. Tax cuts are in another dimension.
      Sir J means well, but sooner or later he’ll realise this PCP is a ‘dead man walking’.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      February 1, 2024

      Visas state no “recourse to public funds” so these immigrants should not be receiving any benefits so why are they.

      Citizenship and passports should not be awarded to anyone who can’t prove they can support themselves.

      This will need a complete overhaul of the benefits system in order to provide a workforce from our own. A start would be making benefits time limited or much, much less so they can not be used as a lifestyle.

    4. Ian B
      February 1, 2024

      @Mark B +1
      Promises are something that’s now wearing a bit thin and always made by these pretend Conservative before elections. There will be more un-costed jobs-for-the-boys and more borrowing – all to be paid by the electorate deceived once more.
      They have yet to fulfill the promises of 14years ago – it was never a Conservative Government

    5. Hope
      February 1, 2024

      The govt does not know or have a say who will leave our country.

      Your proposed 900,000 immigrants each year is not acceptable and totally against what your party and govt repeatedly claimed would happen.

      All the rest is hot air or pure fantasy under Snake and Hunt.

    6. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      +1 it decreased wages, increases cleavages in society, increase demands on tax payers money. increase housing demand, increases crime, acid attacks, demand for the NHS, housing, roads, social services, threats to MPs… it needs to be well under 100K as Cameron promised 13 year back not 750k PA.

  2. David Andrews
    February 1, 2024

    You forgot to mention the IMF is against any tax cuts and has recently spoken from on high on this very topic. Why am I not surprised that all the talk of tax cuts is just talk? His master’s voice has spoken.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      Sunak and Hunt lie that they have already started cutting taxes, actually taxes are still rising hugely despite the small NI tax cut due to fiscal drag. Why would anyone trust such people with their blatant lies?

      1. Hope
        February 2, 2024

        Sunak has told councils to hike community charge to its maximum!! Another tax to house Tory party mass immigration policy!!

    2. Hat man
      February 1, 2024

      Exactly, Dave.

      Leaving out the IMF wasn’t an oversight. SJR is often reluctant to mention supranational pressure, e.g. the UN’s role in promoting global migration, or – as here – its role in keeping our taxes high. But that’s understandable: What would be the point, as an MP, of trying to alter policies pursued by government leaders, if you’ve admitted to yourself that they’re under the sway of external actors?

    3. Ian wragg
      February 1, 2024

      The IMF says no.
      All future legislation to mirror EU to placate Northern Ireland. Who’s running this country.

    4. oldwulf
      February 1, 2024

      @David Andrews

      The IMF is a financial agency of the United Nations.
      The well being of the UK is not its priority.

  3. David Peddy
    February 1, 2024

    1: Cut all aid
    2: Axe Barnett
    3: Cut the size of the Civil Service
    4: Cut University courses ( i.e the useless ones with no obvious purpose)
    5: Axe the rest of HS2
    6: Cut green subsidies

    1. Sakara Gold
      February 1, 2024

      @ David Peddy

      ” Cut green subsidies” what a ridiculous comment.

      This government has paid £billions and £billions in direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Renewable energy from the N Sea windfarms has saved us from importing about 40 tankers of LNG so far this winter.

      1. Sam
        February 2, 2024

        Billions are given to the renewables industry in subsidies SG
        Check out Drax as just one example.
        And without the billions in tax revenues fossil fuel companies pay in duties the economy would be in real difficulties.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      3. Cut the size of the Civil Service – by half at least.
      4: Cut University courses ( i.e the useless ones with no obvious purpose) – about 75% of them.
      5: Axe the rest of HS2 – Yes
      6: Cut green subsidies – ditch the whole of the net zero religion, ditch burning wood at Drax. Drill, frack, mine and do more nuclear into better research.

      Also have real & sig. incentive to work over benefit levels after tax, NI and commuting costs. Often there is none at all.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      February 1, 2024

      And they are just the start.

    4. Henry Curteis
      February 1, 2024

      That would involve ending the UK and England becoming independent. The first step is to offer a referendum on exiting the UK. That is already on offer at The English Democrats.

    5. Ian B
      February 1, 2024

      @David Peddy – to easy and to conservative. Also how about cutting expenditure that doesn’t create a real reinvesting return.

    6. Dave Andrews
      February 1, 2024

      7: Relieve the NHS of the responsibility of treating lifestyle diseases
      8: Relieve local government of the responsibility of care homes for those who spent their way through life and have left nothing for their old age
      9: Phase out the state pension for an electorate that have voted for borrow and waste governments all their adult life
      10: Substantially move the benefits system onto the charity sector
      Rather than cut taxes, reduce the national debt. Who knows, if it gets back down to below 60% GDP maybe the EU will let us back in again.

    7. glen cullen
      February 1, 2024

      Agree – this government could cut taxes if they just stopped giving money away …than maybe they could tackle the huge national debt
      If I my also include in your list 7. Quangos and 8. Nuclear Weapons and 9. Payments to the EU

    8. JoolsB
      February 1, 2024

      David Peddy – totally agree. I would add a couple more if I may:-

      Cut welfare dependency which sees able bodied people being paid more to sit on their a—ses than go out to work.
      Scrap taxpayer funded public sector final salary pensions and subject their contributions to the markets in the same way those who are paying their pensions have to.
      Halt immigration both legal and illegal saving billions on providing houses, schools, hotels, benefits, etc. for them.
      Cut the size of Government, abolish the H of L and scrap the devolved parliaments and Mayors.

      Of course none of these things will happen unless we get a Conservative Government and as there is nothing to pick between the two Consocialist parties, not much chance of that.

    9. Timaction
      February 1, 2024

      Time limit welfare for all and stop giving it to immigrant low wage workers on arrival as the bar should be set to ensure all new time limited contract workers come, do a high wage job, are net tax contributors, then go home. Like everywhere else in the world. Audit current welfare recipient’s to fully understand who receives it by age, sex, nationality by birth and characteristics as we can’t have non Equality laws that only apply to white English men. What’s good for the goose etc.
      The 300,000 cut figure should be raised to one for one (About 800,000) replacement as Reform advocate. Which part of WE’RE FULL do your Party not understand? You are killing our Country, it’s culture, values, beliefs and heritage as well as our very way of life. Fools.
      Student numbers to be drastically cut to ensure we educate our own first NOT competitors and Vice Chancellors salaries at our expense. Then they go home not just an immigration scam at English taxpayers expense sold by higher education establishments.
      All social housing to English born people first.
      All new arrivals should have visas ensuring health insurance as English taxpayers shouldn’t be footing this bill, like everywhere else on the planet!!

    10. Derek
      February 1, 2024

      They can’t do that, it appears too sensible. And those that thrive on insanity are never sensible.

  4. Lifelogic
    February 1, 2024

    “The government has promised to cut legal migration by 300,000.” Well they promises all sorts of things Cameron promised net immigration to be less than 100,000 but it is 750,000. Sunak promised economic growth, cuts in NHS waiting lists, to stop the boats, reduce government borrowing non have been delivered. Inflation has fallen slightly to circa 4% double target, but then he and Andrew Bailey caused the 12% inflation in the first place.

    Public sector productivity – so many produce nothing of value or net harm. Road blocking, net zero, augmenting immigration, pushing dangerous Covid vaccines, mugging motorists…

    1. Ian B
      February 1, 2024

      @Lifelogic +1 promises are for Conservative manifestos, they just evolve into the usual lies. What is the betting that any real tax reduction are promised for after the election and any pseudo headline reductions are more then doubled by fiscal drag(allowances on hold 2028 comes to mind)

    2. Bloke
      February 1, 2024

      Max Headroom was around in the 1980s.
      Now those who are paying bills are up to their bottom lip in the sewer, soon to go under with levels rising.

    3. glen cullen
      February 1, 2024

      They didn’t as a party/manifesto promise to cut legal migration ….it was only the PMs pledge, and we know what those are worth

    4. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      The reality is the UK cannot afford not to cut taxes (red tape, net zero, size of government…) if they want any growth.

      Allister Heath today.
      “Europe is finished, condemned to death by its deluded, third-rate elites
      The continent is incapable of recovering from its present economic, military and demographic crisis”

      As someone with an Italian wife who loves Europe but hates what the EU and various dire governments have done to it I hope he is wrong but very little sign Allister is.

      So Racheal Reeves will cap Corp. Tax at 25%. But this is at least double what it should be and what it is in Ireland. So sensible companies go there or elsewhere. This due to the foolish tax to death Hunt & Sunak. They keep claiming they are cutting taxes but (as they must both know) they are just lying & they are still rising hugely but will raise less tax not more.

    5. Hope
      February 1, 2024

      It is much worse. On 7/03/2023 Sunak aged on TV illegal boat people would be detained and deported within weeks. Legislation passed last year to make sure illegal immigrants have no status and still Sunak gives them 4 star hotels, jobs to under cut British workers, allowed home for Christmas and never deported! If these criminals were detained there would not be 17,300 missing!! Sunak is not telling the truth, the man who said he would serve with integrity. Please explain if this is wrong JR.

      Watch Tory MP Laughton asking Rycroft questions about it yesterday. It is pitiful Cleverly was trying to look as if he were busy looking something up in his file!!

  5. Sakara Gold
    February 1, 2024

    It’s not just the Treasury and OBR forecasts. It’s also the IMF – which only this week has warned against tax cuts. Even Jeremy Hunt – who so far has hardly put a foot wrong during his time as Chancellor – has warned that there is little headroom for tax cuts.

    Tax cuts will not win the next election for the Tories. The electorate hate Sunak too much – a change of PM might

    1. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      “Hunt who so far has hardly put a foot wrong during his time as Chancellor”

      Well his decision to put up Corporation Tax hugely by 25%+ and freeze allowance was an economic disaster destroying growth and investment. He also keeps lying that his is cutting taxes but few are fooled. He was a disaster for circa 5 years at health too, failing to improve the dire structure of the NHS. Another PPE dope. Quite good at saying sorry for all the many disasters from the NHS I suppose.

    2. agricola
      February 1, 2024

      A change of captain after the Titanic hit the iceberg would have done nothing to reduce casualties.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 2, 2024

        But it had not hit it quite yet and getting rid of Sunak is better than doing nothing!

    3. Henry Curteis
      February 1, 2024

      There is clearly a plan to lose the election and the Conservatives now villains will re-form as heroes with Reform, a far worse vehicle for democratic accountability. Time to move to English Democrats – where saving our people is everyday business, not spinning narratives.

    4. Bloke
      February 1, 2024

      Jeremy Hunt has no feat.
      He’s wrong in other ways too,

    5. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      Nothing to lose by changing Sunak at this point. He has a broken compass and keeps lying that he is cutting taxes, stopping the boats, reducing borrowing, reducing NHS waiting lists and getting growth… No one trusts him an inch and rightly so. Suanak/Reeves will ne even worse.

      A new leader who ditches net zero and actually does these things is needed.

    6. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2024

      “Jeremy Hunt – who so far has hardly put a foot wrong during his time as Chancellor” this is satire I assume? Endless lies on tax cuts etc. when you want to be trusted in your next manifesto is not a good strategy.

    7. Timaction
      February 1, 2024

      Plenty of room for state and welfare cuts. Get off of our backs.

  6. Cheshire+Girl
    February 1, 2024

    I want a tax cut. I am sick to death of being told there is no money fir tax cuts, often before the Government can find an extra few billion for Ukraine, Gaza, and Foreign Aid for other Countries.
    I have just completed, and paid, my self assessment Tax return, and at the age of 84, I am paying 20% on everything over £12.5K. When I got the last increase on my State Pension, HMRC took off 20% immediately. If I get an increase this year, I expect them to do the same. I often wonder what I am getting for all this.

    I dont want soothing words from the Government, just to be able to keep a bit more of my own money.

  7. Mike Wilson
    February 1, 2024

    We all know your government will do nothing to improve public sector productivity and control spending. One thing you could easily do to help people is reduce the BBC tax. I pay for Amazon, Netflix and Apple TV+ but I cannot watch any of their live output because I don’t pay the BBC tax. Why have you never done anything to remove this injustice? Instead the incoming Labour government is going to protect its unofficial mouthpiece – the BBC – by putting the BBC tax into general taxation. I will then be forced to pay for a biased media organisation that pays its ‘stars’ (give me strength) absurd amounts of money for reading an autocue.

  8. DOM
    February 1, 2024

    The IMF can go and ‘beep’ itself. Its proclamation yesterday is nothing more than a shameful and arrogant exercise in electoral interference by a slimey Europhile grifter namely :

    Kristalina Georgieva is the MD of the IMF. In a previous life she served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016.

    Europhile slime are desperate to shoehorn Labour into office and when these shysters gain power this nation will be back in the EU quicker than you can say howdy doody

    1. Diane
      February 2, 2024

      +1 – 24hrs late in a response – just took me a while to consider the self harm and the trying to get over the 4 yrs of horror and failure which Brexit has brought upon me / us here in the UK. Apparently. Opined by the EU’s Mr Verhofstadt recently. Yes, there’s a big pile-on taking place presently, in plain sight, including Rejoiners, the OBR, IMF & from all the usual suspects elsewhere, the new French PM too giving us his opinion. Our Port Talbot Steel issues & declining industry, down to Brexit. Apparently. Mr Sunak has said recently PT/Steel not down to Net Zero measures… so apart from what we do know, what else should we be told. Let’s hear more truth telling and fighting our corner from this government. And while at it make an effort to reduce the multi £ millions being doled out to in excess of 260 charities often lobbying against its policies ( e.g. immigration, Rwanda. £209m issued since 2020 – Analysis by the Centre for Migration Control )

  9. Javelin
    February 1, 2024

    It’s not a con incidence that the major policies implemented by this Government have NO democratic mandate, create an unproductive country, reduce GDP per person.

    It’s because there is a STRONG WILL to enact these policies against the will of the people. It’s called an authoritarian dictatorship. If you don’t accept you are living in a perverse soviet style country you just haven’t pinched yourself hard enough yet.

    – Net Zero
    – Mass migration
    – Woke employment


  10. agricola
    February 1, 2024

    Aboard the Enterprise the Vulcan solution to the problem of excess tax may have merit once the crew know what “Bulbs ” were, having discovered that Spock is not refering to daffodils or the lighting.

    Though necessary, these steps would pass unnoticed by the electorate. Many other more obvious gestures like the removal of IHT, Stamp Duty and re-adjusting thresholds would be seen as aimed at a limited segment of the electorate and therefore divisive, however sensible they might be.

    David Peddy above has an excellent list of government spending cuts. Government is way too big, an expensive intrusive luxury that not only does little good, but manages to achieve positive bad in too many cases. It also fails lamentably where it is necessary, defence for instance. You may think me too critical, but the actions of a few ragheads in Yemen has emphasised the weaknesses all too clearly.

    My solution would be of direct benefit to the pockets of all. The business and tax plan for energy in the UK leads to the most expensive energy in the known world. The only beneficiaries are government , the big oil companies, windmill owners, and the EU, in that the latter do not have to suffer a dynamic economy offshore. It needs drastic re-writing so that our energy costs parallel those of the USA. Nett Zero need pushing down the road until we have sufficient Atomic Energy.

    We would then as individuals and industrialy enjoy the biggest cost of living reduction imaginable. It would also boost our competetiveness. Incidentally it might just repair Tory fortunes.

  11. Javelin
    February 1, 2024

    BBC Reports that either parents are taking advantage of Government expanding their remit by diagnosing 4 times as many children with mental health problems OR a whole bunch of parents are taking advantage of free taxis to school.

    “If you’re not perfect you have a mental health problem and we need higher taxes.” A Government expansion officer said sarcastically.

    “An officer at North Yorkshire Council told the committee spending on school transport for children with special educational needs and disabilities had increased from £5m to £21m over the past five years.” – BBC

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    February 1, 2024

    We are borrowing huge sums so there should be no tax cuts until the deficit is eliminated. Certainly not because we are borrowing £20 billion less than we thought.

    However, we don’t need our government to spend all that is does. There are huge savings that could be made with zero budgeting looking at what government needs to actual do.

    Inflationary increases to benefits and pensions plus the level of housing benefit eligible to be paid are good places to start but the number of civil servants per department, the number of departments, the number of MPs, the number of lords, the NHS, defence spending, public sector pensions, payments to the EU. Are just some places to look for very large savings.

  13. Roy Grainger
    February 1, 2024

    “The government has promised to cut legal migration by 300,000”

    Ha ha. Good one. I have some sympathy with the head of the OBR who has explained recently the reason his forecasts are so wrong is that the Government don’t give him accurate data (because they don’t have it) and whatever spending plans and targets they do have they never meet so the whole basis of his forecast is wrong. This is an example – would the OBR be wise to base their forecasts on a cut by 300,000 actually being implemented ?

    1. Mickey Taking
      February 2, 2024

      In the final analysis this Party and Governments will be known as ‘Jam tomorrow but when the lid was removed it was an inch of mould’.

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    February 1, 2024

    7. Student debt – we are sitting on a time bomb or non-payments and write offs which will make the indexation of non-cash interest payments.

    Stop paying universities so much for (in most cases) so little. Encourage school leavers into vocational apprenticeships

  15. Sea_Warrior
    February 1, 2024

    Subsidising, by any means, the housing of ‘new arrivals’ is madness. End that and the flood will subside.

  16. Rod Evans
    February 1, 2024

    With the OBR’s consistent incompetence well proven. Is it time to ask what value is the OBR?
    If their total inputs to debate are wrong, why do we pay so much to have them? What function do they perform?

  17. Margaret
    February 1, 2024

    A review of income tax should be added to the list.What is the point of working more and more if you suddenly jump into another bracket and all the revenue goes to the government to misspend on the lazy and those immigrants who make health excuses so as not to work.Not that much can be offered without speaking English.

  18. Stred
    February 1, 2024

    This year my tax return took 4 times as long to overcome the additional security IDs and lack of helpline to find passwords. In the end I resurrected my old laptop and it worked. But at least the HMRC have a new page showing that I had overpaid over a thousand last year and didn’t tell me to pay more than 20%. It also shows what it is spent on an interest payments came third after the NHS and welfare. If this government had been my financial advisor, I would have sacked them.

  19. formula57
    February 1, 2024

    If “…cut legal migration by 300,000. This will create substantial savings…” why not cut by double that or more?

    After all, it is not as though we are creating a land fit for immingrants to live in, is it?

  20. Ian B
    February 1, 2024

    Sir John
    “Headroom for tax cuts” a nice idea. However, I would like to see this Conservative Government get to grip with its own prolific expenditure.
    I have neve known it to be Conservative policy to spend like money is going our of fashion, grow the State exponentially and pile in more jobs for the boys by expanding the Quango’s.
    It we had a Conservative Government adhering to the principles of good housekeeping, budgets i.e. being Conservative there would never have been the overriding need to keep raising tax and borrowing. This crowd are refusing o ‘manage’ refusing to be Conservative.

  21. Mickey Taking
    February 1, 2024

    Headroom is this vague notion of having to find space in order to do something bneficial. Long overdue tax cuts, promised time and time again, teasing those in dire financial plight, must be used to relieve the pressure on the safety valve and sprinkle some much needed motivation to our workers. This space has been used very often and usually with plenty of sound suggestions as to how that might be wisely achieved. But will it happen? Sunak/Hunt are on a suicide mission but taking millions of votes down the pan with them.

  22. Berkshire Alan
    February 1, 2024

    I see we have another lot of mixed messages from the Government.
    A few weeks ago The Chancellor was shouting out loud about tax cuts in the next Budget, even suggesting at one point the possibility of reducing or even removing Inheritance tax.
    Then we get a message that it could be tax cuts for everyone.
    Now we get the opposite view, he’s not sure if we can afford tax cuts.
    All these mixed messages just add the the look of total and utter incompetence, of not knowing in which direction to travel by someone who is completely out of their depth, with not a real clue as to what is going on.
    I am seriously getting the feeling that the only way the Conservative Party will get a reset, is for them to have time in opposition to regroup but this time with competent real Conservative people and values.
    Thought I would never say that as I truly believe Labour will be a disaster, but we cannot continue with people who are in effect fake conservatives.
    Good grief how is anyone (companies and individuals) able to plan their future sensibly with this chaos of miss management, when goalposts are constantly being moved.

  23. Ian B
    February 1, 2024

    From MSM
    Trying to look tough
    ‘Jeremy Hunt has rebuked the boss of the UK’s economic watchdog after he appeared to liken last year’s public finance forecasts to a “work of fiction”.’
    Jeremy Hunt, is the Boss, he organises the raid on our wallet to pay the people he controls and manages then criticises himself because he refuses to manage and control costs – you couldn’t make it up.
    It must be an election year, all talk, do nothing, maintain the status quo

  24. Original Richard
    February 1, 2024

    There is no way that the fifth column communists at the OBR or the Treasury (and all the other organisation and institutions, both national and global) are going to give the Government any headroom to justify tax cuts. More likely calls for even higher taxes and higher spending.

    And anyway tinkering with tax cuts without massive spending cuts to state personnel and budgets is akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We need far more importantly to first reverse the economy destroying Net Zero Strategy and secondly the economic and social destruction of mass immigration. This process has already started in the EU.

  25. Nigl
    February 1, 2024

    Looks like what any Conservative government would do. Shame we haven’t got one.

  26. a-tracy
    February 1, 2024

    The OBR was in the news saying they were wrong because of your treasury. ‘Audit Watchdog accuses HMRC of getting its sums wrong’. So the IMF tells Hunt to behave so he draws back yet again. Just increase personal allowances by the last 12 months’ inflation average, and it’s not a ‘tax cut’ per se, just a lift by inflation to the amount you can earn tax-free. Stop the awful withdrawal of child benefits at £50k if you want the middle classes to have children and not just the benefit classes. You are stifling people.

    7 Dec 2023 — The head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has blamed Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt for the watchdog’s forecasts being wrong. ‘Hunt and Sunak are to blame for forecasting errors’.

    These Quangos don’t give you the cover Osborne thought they did so why bother, save some money and do the forecasting within the Treasury if they do all the work anyway.

  27. Old Albion
    February 1, 2024

    Talk of tax cuts is simply an election bribe. It won’t work. Your party is sun(a)k. What’s worse you are about to inflict a Starmer led Labour gov. on to us.

  28. Sharon
    February 1, 2024

    All the while we are signed up to international organisations such as the UN, not much will change. I’ve read two articles this morning that state figures and names, The UN are actively funding ‘organised’ migration around the world into the west. And an organisation called The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), a UK charity, is part of a global network forging close ties with Western governments with the aim of abandoning GDP growth as an objective.

    It was discovered that accounts filed at the end of last year show the organisation was funded by progressive organisations, one with an anti-capitalist agenda inspired by far-left militants.

    Whilst we have this kind of outside influence, we will have an uphill battle to re-take our country. Somehow these organisations need to be either dis-banded or we resign from them! I fear this is the tip of the ice-berg, as more charities and organisations working globally, come to light.

    Except we won’t, will we?

  29. Nigl
    February 1, 2024

    Ps. Will you please stop the looking both ways drivel coming from Hunt on tax cuts. Treating the voters as gullible/stupid not realising it is an election year and you are desperately looking to bribe us.

  30. a-tracy
    February 1, 2024

    7. 3 days ago — Bonuses of £1.3million were shared by FirstGroup’s top executives Graham Sutherland and Ryan Mangold last year, and a £540,000 bonus was… despite failing to enforce laws to minimise disruption.. a 61% increase to Arriva in executive pay and perks in 2023! For a failing service.

    Enough start there deduct £1.3 million from any support given to FirstGroup immediately.

  31. Bert+Young
    February 1, 2024

    All good stuff in your analysis this morning Sir John but what chance is there of anyone in authority paying attention to you ?.

  32. Lifelogic
    February 1, 2024

    For tax cuts you obviously need growth and huge reductions in the vast levels of government waste. For growth you need to slash red tape, ditch net zero. cut and simplify taxes, relax planning, go for easy hire and fire, cheap on demand energy and confidence.

    How do you get confidence with the dire broke
    compass Sunak, Hunt and Starmer shortly.

    So a pathetically tearful N Sturgeon says the main think she regrets is not locking down two weeks earlier. What a pathetic fool and liar she is. She should be saying sorry to all the thousands vaccine injured. Many of whom had any need for the Covid Vaccines even had they been safe and effective.

  33. ChrisS
    February 1, 2024

    All very laudible but you aren’t going to achieve all these theoretical goals. Anyway, if you do achieve some headroom you need to first do something about personal allowances, which this government has frozen for so many years pushing many people into paying tax at the higher rate. Nothing worse than stealth taxes.

  34. Keith from Leeds
    February 1, 2024

    The only way to increase Civil Service productivity is to reduce the numbers drastically. As to the rest of it, the Government should have focused on cutting spending for tax cuts months ago. Hunt is useless as a Chancellor; we have had 12 months of negative no room for tax cuts comments, then lo and behold, suddenly, there was room for tax cuts in the last month, but as of now, the negative message is back; I have very little room for tax cuts.
    Does he not understand his job is to make room for them? Also, he needs to have the bottle to ignore all the forecasts, up the tax-free earnings allowance to £20k, lift the 20% band to 80k, stop taking allowances back for high earners, start the 40p tax rate at 100k and drop the 45% rate altogether. But he should also raise the NI cap to 100k, with people paying 5% when they earn over 50k., and the full rate up to 50k.

    1. a-tracy
      February 2, 2024

      Keith, people do pay the full rate of NI up to 50k, the business that employs them also carries on paying their 13.8% over £50k with no cap and it doesn’t stop at retirement age.

  35. Roy Grainger
    February 1, 2024

    So, at the BoE today one person voted for a rate cut, 6 voted to keep rates the same, and 2 voted for a rate increase. Those latter 2 desperate for a recession to ensure a big majority for their mate Starmer I suppose. But honestly what sort of data/models are they using which could justify three different answers ? Any pretence that economics is a science shown for the nonsense it is, it’s mostly political.

    1. Mickey Taking
      February 2, 2024

      It all depends on who is giving each of them their instructions!

  36. forthurst
    February 1, 2024

    Forcing private industry to ‘invest’ in Carbon Capture and Storage will simply drive more abroad without paying them to do it as their is no payback from this type of arts graduate idiocy.
    The global warming hoax is being used to deracinate us as it attacks our way of life through which we perceive ourselves as farmers or fishermen (sorry fisherfolk) or creators of wealth through the application of science and engineering to making things that we can be proud of. A clever ruse by the enemy within with which they have easily fooled the arts graduates who inadvisedly we allow to make our laws who then flush us out with waves of aliens which they have been led to believe we need to obviate senescence and decay otherwise.

    Sunak has launched a new business council in an to attempt to match Labour’s love-in with the capitalists. Since the Tories have been in power there has been a catastrophic decrease in the size of the industrial sector and everything that wasn’t screwed down has been flogged off to the highest bidder. “Let’s see the beef, make bigger burgers” might just work, though.

  37. Paula
    February 1, 2024

    No tax cuts.

    We have an immigration emergency, you see.

    You have been getting told for over a decade that this issue was going to lead to the extinction of your party.

  38. Derek
    February 1, 2024

    It defies belief. What is the matter with the Chancellor and his merry band of Europhiles running the Treasury? Past forecasts from the OBR have been found to be WRONG. Several times, yet he and they still use their very dodgy figures on which to base the economic future of OUR country.
    Surely, this is another example of insanity? Doing the same thing over again, expecting a different result? It is madness to rely upon failures to come up with the goods, maybe, one day. Can the back benchers not force the hand of the Chancellor to see the light? Or has he tunnel vision and an open door, especially for the Treasury Europhile ‘Persuaders’ to tell him what to do?
    Such practise seems the norm among Ministers lacking the real talents required to run their departments efficiently and wisely.

  39. glen cullen
    February 1, 2024

    You’re certainly racking in the VAT ….my local petrol station has put up its price 4p since Sunday, everyone is making money at the expense of the ICE vehicle driver and industry that deliver our goods
    Is anyone in government or parliament interested

    1. glen cullen
      February 1, 2024

      Interested in reducing the tax burden and net-zero costs to the average Joe, or are they too busy planning their next trip to Davos or the all-party-political-group fact finding trip (holiday)

  40. glen cullen
    February 1, 2024

    278 illegal criminals crossed yesterday ….I wonder if they’ll be interviewed by the asylum case worker or the magistrate (the home office doesn’t know)

  41. glen cullen
    February 1, 2024

    How can a convicted of a sex offender be granted asylum

    1. a-tracy
      February 2, 2024

      Someone spoke up for his conversion to Christianity. Does that person face repercussions for vouching for a sex offender – no – but I hope they feel a little guilty today.

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