Budget day

I will add to my thoughts after the budget.

As readers will know I have done a lot of work on how to bring inflation down and grow the economy faster and put this to government in recent weeks.

Reform to deliver low inflation and faster growth has to start with a change of Bank of England policy. It needs to end its lurch to tight a money policy now inflation is falling. It must end its damaging sale of bonds. This would spare the Treasury large payments for the needless losses they are incurring and ease conditions a bit in the mortgage market.

Government policy must intensify to sort out labour market problems. They need to tighten the rules against low income migration further and do more to help people already legally  settled here into work. There will be substantial savings on public expenditure from this.

Tax cuts  need to be targeted on getting energy costs down to make the UK more competitive and ease the squeeze on the cost of living.  There need to be cuts in tax for small business and self employed, and some increases in the Income Tax thresholds as too many people are paying higher rate tax.

The absurd policy control based on the 5 year out forecast of the OBR needs replacing with a control based on a target of 2% inflation and 2% growth.


  1. Mark B
    March 6, 2024

    Good morning.

    Budget day – The last throw of the dice.

    1. Peter
      March 6, 2024

      Speculation that a May general election is planned. I doubt it. I think Sunak will cling on for as long as possible. Many MPs want plenty of time to plan for life after parliament.

      1. Philip P.
        March 6, 2024

        If Sunak leaves it to the autumn, by then he risks (a) whatever measures the budget brings failing to achieve anything and (b) his support for Ukraine being recognised as an expensive failure. A May election while Ukraine is still just about clinging on and there’s a chance the budget could improve things looks like a better option. Spring is the time for optimism, after all, while autumn is when people look more realistically at what they’ve done with the year – and maybe what the government has or hasn’t done with it.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          March 6, 2024

          Ukraine will collapse before or in May. All the chickens are coming home to roost. The Tories have stymied themselves.

      2. Lifelogic
        March 6, 2024

        Indeed it surely will be Autumn. They will cling on to the bitter end and hope something turns up to prevent the complete landslide they richly deserve. Not that the even more appalling and deluded Labour deserve any victory.

        More than 400 migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats on Monday, the highest daily number so far this year. So how many today – in the lovely calm sunny weather. How are your pledges going Sunak? Still just the one to halve the inflation hit? The inflation you caused with you currency debasement QE lunacy, lockdowns, furlough, eat our to help out, Covid loans & fraud and the net harm vaccines as Chancellor?

      3. Mickey Taking
        March 6, 2024

        Not a problem for many upwardly mobile that saw the CV entry when getting selected. Networking used, next jobs lined up.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 6, 2024

      More of a fake budget day as the real one will take place shortly after the general election by Rachel Reeves with her mad counterproductive zero tax raising plans to put VAT on school fees and ditch Non Dom status. Anything socialist EUphile Hunt does today it largely irrelevant. Even if everything changed and the Tories won a majority perhaps a 1/100 chance who would trust them not to reverse any tax cuts Hunt promises? Hunt was championing the period of Gordon Brown as Chancellor – Save the world Gordon Brown was a complete disaster. etc ed

      1. Peter
        March 6, 2024


        Yes the real budget will take place as soon as Labour form a government. Today’s measures will barely have time to make any difference.

    3. Ian wragg
      March 6, 2024

      No doubt a damp squid after 14 years of failure. Decimated armed forces, uncontrolled immigration and all government departments run by leftwaffe staff. Things could have been so different if we’d had 14 years of Tory government. L

    4. glen cullen
      March 6, 2024

      Spot on MARK B, its the tories last chance to stop labour winning at the next election …..some good old fashioned tory economic policies would help …and an end to funding net-zero

    5. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      and guess what – a handout from April if you earn £25k and you will pay £249 less NI over the year ahead.
      Time to celebrate, book that summer holiday dear!
      Hunt doesn’t do bribery well, does he?

      1. a-tracy
        March 7, 2024

        This government has set the rate for employers to pay 10% more in wages. Any SME thinking they are going to get away with 5-6% this April are kidding themselves. A 21-year-old with zero experience and skills has to be paid £429 per week for a 37.5-hour week, which is £22,308. So the person on £25k now, as well as a reduction in the NI rate, will be expecting £27,450 minimum and on through the grades.

        The council worker, nurse or teacher with a £14 ph start rate when the NLW = £10.42 will expect their differentials to match, and the Unions will make sure they get it.

    6. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      Hunt found a way to toss the dice and it came up with a zero!

  2. Lynn Atkinson
    March 6, 2024


    1. Hope
      March 6, 2024

      How about cutting welfare budget by cutting mass legal immigration (1.395 million last year alone) to give us tax cuts?

      Why are boat people not rescued by France in their half of the channel but a meter into our side are collected and put in Four star hotels? Spookily they also know the exact spot to collect from. Cleverly pays France over £500 million for these people, is that not trafficking? 63,000 criminals entering our country given amnesty! Is the brightest and best Sunak talks about? All eligible for cabinet under their quota system, make them Lords for good measure.

    2. Mitchel
      March 6, 2024

      Forget the Budget!Something far more interesting is happening.Victoria Nuland (the chief architect of the Ukraine disaster)is leaving her post….to be replaced by the former US ambassador to Afghanistan who oversaw the scuttle from the wreckage of that country!

      One of those ‘you couldn’t make it up’ moments!

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 6, 2024

        This is the collective west acknowledging total defeat. Thank God! The abduction of Ukrainians by their ‘armed forces’ is horrific!
        End of the Globalist dream, end of NATO end of the EU and the WEF. Rejoice! The cost: end of the USD reserve currency and the 34.5 TRILLION debt falls on the US taxpayer. Many genetic British may return home after their couple of centuries sojourn in the colony.
        We need them!

  3. agricola
    March 6, 2024

    By now all is set in stone, so I too will leave comment until after the event. If it is seriously tax reducing and entrepreneurial I will support it. If it is give with one hand to take with the other, a three card slight of hand, then I will condemn it as consocialist, awaiting the second team. The key is what it will do for personal GDP.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 6, 2024

      You say “If it is seriously tax reducing and entrepreneurial I will support it.“

      If it is (and it will surely not be) it will be reversed by Reeves (or by Hunt if they did actually win the election with an overall majority a 1/100 chance at best) in just a few months time anyway. So almost totally irrelevant.

      The budget should cut the size of government in half, ditch net zero, cut out loans for useless degrees circa 75% of them are, cut immigration to less than 50k PA high skills only, a bon fire of red tape, relax planning…

    2. Peter Wood
      March 6, 2024

      Here’s the ‘tell’… NO effort to reduce government costs/waste. the rest is window-dressing.
      Central government is going to have to bailout the locals, and we need to spend 4-5% of GDP on becoming a credible defensive military force again. Tax cuts? Don’t make me laugh..

    3. Dave Andrews
      March 6, 2024

      There can’t be tax reducing without shrinking the bloated state. We can’t pile more onto the national debt.
      Shrinking the bloated state means the public sector cease doing what it doesn’t need to, and does inefficiently. This isn’t just about getting rid of the woke jobs, you also need to tackle the reasons there are woke jobs.

    4. Ian B
      March 6, 2024

      @agricola +1
      yes, it gets tiring all promises no delivery. It might just work if everything was to be delivered before any election, reduced tax, massive reduce administration and removal of the Quangos. Other wise it will be just another ‘Con’, lie and more deception to join the Rishi 5 promises along with the last 14 years of them that have yet to be taken up.

    5. Everhopeful
      March 6, 2024

      TV news reporting that “middle class” will be targeted in the errrm… budget… to pay for tax cuts.
      Sorry…I was under the impression that we are now ( thanks to Tory pottiness) ALL “middle class”.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 6, 2024

        the ‘middle’ class have consistently done well via the Tories, until Truss stepped over the line and gave them rather too much …..Teslas all round wasn’t it?

      2. a-tracy
        March 7, 2024

        Whats the middle class those earning £50k to £100k?

    6. agricola
      March 6, 2024

      Now we have it, if that is how you describe nada. Nothing serious for the entepreneurial. £5000 pa on the VAT limit for the self employed, you have got to be joking. The base limit should be £250,000 a year before VAT has to be added.

      No shift in tax thresholds ensuring more and more will be paid by the tax payer, wiping out anything Hunt pretends to give away.

      This Chancellor and his government are taxaholics in need of severe rehab. All he has achieved is to boost the case for Reform.
      Lift the starting threshold on income tax to £20,000.
      Cut the fuel duty levels giving us cheaper energy.
      Cut stamp duty but at the same time build houses.
      Abolish the VAT Tourist Tax.
      Raise the IHT threshold to £2,000,000
      Lift the Corpoation Tax base to £100,000 and progressively reduce its percentage on profit.
      Abolish IR35
      They choose £120,000 whereas I choose £250,000 as a VAT starting point.
      They have much more to say longterm for individuals the self employed and SMEs

      This budget is an adendum to the conservative party suicide note which explains why this year they become last nights chip paper.

      1. a-tracy
        March 7, 2024

        In other European Countries, the VAT registration rate is around half of ours; no one has such a big allowance. In fact, in the EU, 85,000 is the max.

        In Spain and Greece there are NO vat thresholds (EUR 10,000 for distance sales)
        Most average 35,000 EUR, Ireland 37,500 EUR. France 34,400 EUR.
        Things can get worse.

  4. Paula
    March 6, 2024

    Uncontrolled immigration. You can’t budget for it. You just can’t. You don’t know who’s coming. You don’t know what they’ll pay or what they’ll cost but you do know that it will make things more difficult for the people already here.

    But you don’t care.

    That’s why there’s going to be an election bloodbath in Spring whatever this irrelevant budget brings.

    1. DOM
      March 6, 2024

      If you think importation of people or immigration as it is officially termed is bad under this government just wait when Labour walk through the door of No.10.

      The progressive mantra is well known, ‘If people won’t vote Labour then we’ll import people who will’. I have never understood why the Tories have never explained this sinister tactic to rub our noses in cultural and demographic change. It’s almost an act of provocation designed to poke the bear with an electric prod. This is what my parents have had to tolerate since 1997. A party whose purpose is revenge and the Tory party have allowed it to happen and endorsed it themselves. People cannot see the destructive nature of our political class. It is the blind spot that will destroy a nation

      1. hefner
        March 6, 2024

        Just to clarify: By definition immigrants are not British citizens, ie not likely voters in any GE, so won’t vote Labour, Conservative or Monster Raving Loony Party before they get British citizenship. To get it takes at least three years (as spouse or partner of a British person), five years to get Indefinite Leave to Remain then one year to apply for British citizenship, and the same 5+1 years for people with EU Settled Status.
        So the migrants recently arrived on these shores might not vote back the Conservatives to power before 2029?

    2. Lifelogic
      March 6, 2024

      Indeed open door immigration paid for with lower living standards and higher taxes on the existing population mad worse by net zero lunacy, far too much red tape, highest taxes for 70 years and vast government waste and incompetence. Endless failed promises from Sunak on immigration, the NHS, boat people, growth, debt, crime, housing, tax levels… The man even still lies to us that they have cut taxes and the Covid vaccines are/were safe.

    3. Hope
      March 6, 2024


      Rock up not paying tax or NI but get housing, welfare and pensions and pension credits!

      As a matter of fact and record Tories worse than Labour. No point saying the other lot will be worse. At least the other lot act on what they believe and say on the tin.

      Just get out.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 6, 2024

        Soon nobody will pay NI, so the aliens will not be any different from the rest of us. That the cunning plan … Baldrick for PM – it could only get better!

    4. Lifelogic
      March 6, 2024

      Well you know they will, on average, pay far less in than they will cost in housing, benefits, crime, roads, schools, universities, social services, defence, police…thus decreasing living standards and increasing taxes for others. Plus depressing their wages too.

    5. Sea_Warrior
      March 6, 2024

      This morning, for the first time, an election pitch from Keir Starmer came into my YouTube feed. He’s promising to build 1.5 million homes to solve the ‘Tory housing crisis’. Nonsense, of course, as Labout won’t build anything like that number. But his pitch will resonate with a great many twenty- and thirty-somethings who can’t afford to buy or find a place to rent. They’ll ignore that ‘New Labour’ opened the floodgates – before their time – and just punish the kid holding the parcel when the music stops. And that kid is the Conservatives, who have been letting in a couple of cities worth of immigrants each year, with no concern as to the negative effects.
      What to do now? Drastically restrict LEGAL immigration. If necessary, the responsible minister should just pull out the plug of the visa-issuing machine – and well before the music stops.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 6, 2024

        Ideally a FULLSTOP on ALL immigration for a minimum 2 years, and a concerted plan to unload not-a-chance interlopers out of this country.

    6. glen cullen
      March 6, 2024

      If only this government controlled the immigrant visa system, if only we had a unit called border force, if only we had a home office department in charge of immigration …..wouldn’t that be something

    7. a-tracy
      March 7, 2024

      If he’s got any sense, he will wait until December 2024. Although I read some MPs are champing at the bit to leave as they have already got other jobs lined up.

  5. James Freeman
    March 6, 2024

    I cannot see anything you suggest here happening today. We might get some tinkering around getting more people into work. But this is the policy area of the DWP, not the Treasury.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      Always a non-event, I expect just the same. Sleight of hand, a handout and snatch with the other hand while giving a wide smile.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 6, 2024

        I was right wasn’t I?

    2. glen cullen
      March 6, 2024

      SirJ wants to satisfy the wants of the party membership …Hunt wants to satisfy the wants of the OBR

    3. James Freeman
      March 6, 2024

      The Chancellor might have hidden things in the small print, but he has only chosen one out of eight of your policy ideas:
      * Change in Band of England policy – No
      * Tighten rules on low-income migration – No
      * Help people legally settled here to work – Partially (reductions in NI will encourage more people into the labour market, but he could have achieved more with better-targeted tax cuts).
      * Getting energy costs down – No (has achieved the opposite by extending the oil and gas windfall tax).
      * Tax cuts for small businesses – Partially (the VAT threshold has risen slightly)
      * Tax cuts for the self-employed – Yes (NI cut)
      * Increase in income tax thresholds – No
      * Change in policy control based on five-year forecast – No

      Meanwhile, he has chosen twice as many labour policies (abolishing non-doms and windfall tax extension).

  6. DOM
    March 6, 2024

    Abolish the degenerate OBR

    Cut all business and personal business taxes and remove all of Blackrock’s woke DIE, ESG and NZ regulatory burdens. If Florida can do it then so can the Tories

    Simply unleash the power of the private sector and purge ideology, politics and woke bureaucracy from every company

  7. Javelin
    March 6, 2024

    It appears the civil service are running the country now.

  8. Lifelogic
    March 6, 2024

    “So much of the budget has leaked it has completely ruined the sense of disappointment” Matt today.

    Why Britain is still paying the price for Gordon Brown’s gold bullion blunder in the Telegraph today.Nearly 25 years on Gold is is a record high. Or if you prefer the £1 has been so hugely debases by Sunak’s et al’s QE and 14 years of Consocialist economic incompetence.

  9. David Andrews
    March 6, 2024

    I have one suggestion to add to your agenda. That is a tax measure to encourage exports so that the perennial trade deficit is eliminated and a surplus is achieved. This is needed because otherwise the UK will run out of assets to sell to foreign investors. As someone once said “We depend on the kindness of strangers” when it comes to covering the deficit.

    A suggestion for starters. Offer a corporation tax reduction based on the difference between the % value of exports sold and the % cost of imports in the total value of products sold. This would be open to manipulation by multinationals who process products here for re-export, but if it helps reduce the deficit so what? A scale from 0% to 5% point reduction could provide a useful incentive. Conversely a 0% to 5% increase in corporation tax could apply to businesses where the % value of imports exceeded exports. Set these incentives against a 20% baseline rate of corporation tax. It would be a tax incentive or penalty depending on whether it added to or reduced the trade deficit. No doubt this will offend some international treaty or agreement but a start has to be made somewhere.

    1. Dave Andrews
      March 6, 2024

      I fear your suggestions might incur a charge of state aid.
      Might I suggest an alternative?
      Set employer’s NI rate at 0% for manufacturing and other industries that compete on the global market. Employer’s NI is a drag placed on UK manufacturing that imports escape. Why does the government persist in stifling UK industry in favour of imports?

  10. Clough
    March 6, 2024

    The policies you argue for seem to me to very much along the lines of past Conservative thinking, SJR, but supposing nothing of what you advocate here is adopted in Hunt’s budget. Won’t your conclusion be that we don’t have a Conservative government? And if so, what then?

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      Just where are Sir John’s ideas to start to deal with the myriad problems the country has through incompetent Government? Nowhere to be seen. Even bribery barely got a mention.

  11. Lifelogicq
    March 6, 2024

    “Support for the Conservative party is at its lowest level for more than 40 years, according to polling from Ipsos. According to its latest monthly political monitor, Labour is on 47% (down 2 points on the previous month), and the Conservatives are on 20% (down seven points)“

    Quite some achievement by Sunak and Hunt, this especially as Starmer’s Labour are so totally useless. They have the same dire misguided polices as the Tories but with a few more dire lunacies added in like the Non Dom abolition and 20% vat on school fees – perhaps to win as few as 25 seats the figures suggest. They will surely struggle to win much more than 100.

  12. Ray
    March 6, 2024

    I have always thought you would have made an excellent Chancellor Sir John. Since it is Budget Day, let us not forget who the Chancellor was that ran up the stupendous debt that we are now in and apparently was rewarded by being appointed PM?

  13. Lifelogic
    March 6, 2024

    “As readers will know I have done a lot of work on how to bring inflation down and grow the economy faster and put this to government in recent weeks.”

    Well done but it is all too late now. They sadly were not listening. They got everything wrong for 14 years. The state is far too large, immigration out of control, Covid lock down and Covid vaccines huge errors, the net zero insanity, vast government waste everywhere, taxes way too high, absurd energy and housing policies, failure to cut red tape, vast currency debasement & Sunak caused inflation with QE…

  14. Sea_Warrior
    March 6, 2024

    At the risk of being too military amongst all the civvies in this comments thread, here are the ‘effects’ I want to see, a few months after the budget:
    (1) Investment by SMEs increased.
    (2) Manufacturing boosted.
    (3) The hospitality industry – particularly our pubs – placed on a surer financial footing.
    (4) The number of benefit claimants reduced.
    (5) The tax-take from non-doms increased.
    (6) More people choosing to opt back in to the workforce.
    (7) The housing market in places such as the West Country’s coastal resorts eased for the local population.
    (8) The UK being seen as a more attractive place in which to invest.
    P.S. I hope that a reduction in NI now doesn’t mean that a Spring election is being planned by a leader who has been dumb enough to let Labour establish a 27% lead. I would have gone for an income tax cut now and an NI cut at the Autumn Statement. Fiscal measures alone won’t save your party; tax-cuts + sure-footed policy execution might – but that needs time.

  15. Old Albion
    March 6, 2024

    I’m preparing for a disappointing day.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      and you got it!

  16. Berkshire Alan
    March 6, 2024

    I will view it with the expectation that I as a retired citizen I will get absolutely nothing out of it, other than a tax bill on my State pension increase.
    Thus I suspect it will be give a little with one hand, take a lot with the other.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      March 6, 2024

      Well as guessed, absolutely nothing in it for me, or indeed anyone else who earns less than £25,000 per year which will be millions of people.
      No problem with trying to make the NHS and other departments more efficient, but the last try with a new computer system about 15 years ago, ended in failure at a cost of £12 Billion.
      Now we are talking not just the NHS, but the Police, HMRC, and a host of other departments.
      Last time I visited the local RBH hospital, they were still pushing shopping trollies around full of paper files from department to department.
      The Government do not exactly have a good record of implementing new Computer systems, which inevitably cost far, far more than the original budget, and end up with very much extended delivery times.
      I guess we will have another Budget in the Autumn, before the election.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 6, 2024

        Good points. Ask ourselves ‘why would retired people want to see Tories remain in power?
        I thought, I struggled, I reflected, I visited the fear factor… and decided ‘Nah – get rid ASAP’.

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    March 6, 2024

    There is plenty of money swilling around in the system as it is we don’t need to loosen monetary policy further. That will just hurt the little people more. But the Bank of England really should stop selling bonds at a loss. specially as those bonds are not incurring large interest payments.

    I want to see spending cuts, particularly to benefit entitlement. We import people to do jobs that people on benefits should do. There is the big elephant in the room

  18. Bingle
    March 6, 2024

    If reports are to be believed he will cut NI by another 2p and call it a ‘tax cut’.

    Not for Pensioners! Again!

    He will say it is ‘fully funded’. True – by Pensioners!

    If the reports are true, then he can say goodbye to the ‘Blue Rinse Brigade’, and their partners.

    Just a few million of us.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    March 6, 2024

    Can we please return to the days when a Chancellor had to resign for leaking budget details?

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      what purpose does the pathetic leak serve, beats me?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 7, 2024

        It undermines the power of Parliament – the only body that can control a Government.
        Parliament should REJECT this budget!

  20. Nigl
    March 6, 2024

    As readers will also know a weak Hunt captured by the BOE and Treasury whose place man is PM, has and will continue to ignore you.

    The spin is already treating us a stupid.

  21. Jude
    March 6, 2024

    Sadly, while our Government keeping bowing to the OBR & BoE views. The UK will never get control of our finances.
    Both these entities need to be controlled by & accountable too the Treasury. To deliver for the people of this country not individuals or other bodies.

  22. Ian B
    March 6, 2024

    Sir John
    Most of us agree with you and admire your effort, but all the evidence is this so called Conservative Government is not listening, doesn’t understand and cant comprehend the meaning of being a conservative government.
    Today there will be another attempt to bribe us with our own money, there will be promises that if we once again believe the lies and vote them as the Countries Leaders, after the election and only after, they will get their own house in order, control the ways they spend our money -in effect once again they will promise to start managing.

  23. Derek
    March 6, 2024

    I suggest Downing Street must view this budget as their own “D” Day. The beginning of their fight back to retain power.
    It must demonstrate to the electorate that they really care about the individual and ignore the “advice” from their advisers, who have done nothing but severely damage their popularity and our economy. Equally to blame are both the PM and the Chancellor, for instead of leading, they both appear to be under the control of their civil service aides, which explains why their not-so-Tory policies closely resemble those of the socialists.
    The civil service is the common denominator to both Parties, for the staff do not change and remain the same, whoever may be in Number 10. And the Civil Service leans to the left rather than being above Party lines, which is also the reason why they never wanted OUR country to leave the EU – another governing body ruled by civil servants. It is they who have obstructed our way to a true Brexit over the past seven years and still counting.
    STRONG Leadership is required to get OUR country back on its feet, so let’s see some before the election.
    Else we shall be condemned to an even worse five years of dire socialism. Aghhhh.

  24. Nigl
    March 6, 2024

    All the indications are that Hunt will lose his seat. Good riddance.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      March 6, 2024

      +1 – looks like Richmond Yorks is gone too – I was there yesterday. Lots a v unhappy people.

    2. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      and about another 150.

  25. Ian B
    March 6, 2024

    Sir John – if the chancellor does any of the above in a meaningful way, that is not just kicking it down the road until after his wishful dream of being re-elected I will donate £10 to the ‘Guide Dogs’

    Now I have said that I will do it anyway.

  26. Rod Evans
    March 6, 2024

    “They need to tighten the rules against low income migration further and do more to help people already legally settled here into work. There will be substantial savings on public expenditure from this.”
    The old saying, when the alligators are snapping at your backside, remember your intention was always to drain the swamp….

  27. Ian B
    March 6, 2024

    ‘Jeremy Hunt’s Budget plan to cut National Insurance by 2p amounts to “fiddling while Rome burns”, Lord Frost has warned. ‘
    Hunt has confirmed in the media his admiration for Gordon Brown and his handling of the economy. We the taxpayer along with all UK Citizens are still paying for Gordon Browns ineptitude and will be for many years to come. That is what Hunt sees as for our future generation people paying for his failures.

    1. Ian B
      March 6, 2024

      Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said Jeremy Hunt needs to “be Nigel Lawson, not Gordon Brown”
      Everyone sees it but those looking for personal self-gratification that goes against the grain of serving.

  28. William Long
    March 6, 2024

    Why wait to comment? It looks as if all the significant parts of the Budget are trumpeted on the front pages of the National Press this morning; I thought the House of Commons was meant to be the first to be informed.

  29. Ian B
    March 6, 2024

    Love him or loath him. ‘Trump’ is showing with extraordinary support from the grass roots that he is closer to the voter than the agenda from talking heads and the media.

  30. Bloke
    March 6, 2024

    The Budget Speech is likely to be less of an announcement and more like a reading aloud of the points intentionally released to the media in advance. Jeremy Hunt has been both slow and resistant to acting upon the high quality advice and guidance that SJR has been proposing for longtemps.
    ‘The absurd policy control based on the 5 year out forecast of the OBR needs replacing with a control based on a target of 2% inflation and 2% growth’ is something any competent Chancellor should have realised for himself. Hunt is incompetent, as the nation realised long ago.

  31. The Prangwizard
    March 6, 2024

    What is done will be irrelevant and useless. If immigration, and at present almost all, is not stopped the destruction of the country and society and culture will continue. Mr Redwood doesn’t mind as long as the Tories are in power because he fools us and himself by saying he works on the inside to right wrongs. If that works why are we in such a mess. But it won’t be long before alien beliefs dominate parliament, extending their influence further. Appeasers of threats will say their views and demands must be included. We heard what Galloway plans.

  32. IanT
    March 6, 2024

    It seems the new trend is to leak most of the Budget before the Budget – presumably to avoid any disappointment.
    As someone with a small (non-inflation linked) annuity and state pension, I will pay more tax this year. So any changes to NI (whilst less expensive for the Chancellor) will do nothing to improve my cash flow I’m afraid. Fortunately, we still have other savings to draw on but I suspect that many pensioners will not.

    I do find it quite amusing that the media still refer to “Stealth” taxes as if they were undectable, as they have been clearly visible for some time now.

  33. George
    March 6, 2024

    Hi sir John
    One day we are being told there is no room for tax cuts. And next day we are being told there will be some tax cuts by Hunt.
    Does he make his mind up on the day of the budget it sounds as if he don’t know what he’s doing

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 6, 2024

      just remove the word ‘sounds’.

  34. Bert+Young
    March 6, 2024

    The principles and policies Sir John outlines for economic stability and growth are exactly what the country needs . If the Conservatives had followed these priorities they would be firmly in control of public support and the threat of a Labour Government would not exist . Today’s budget will be like a poor swimmer in the water and no end of professional coaching is likely to improve things .

  35. ChrisS
    March 6, 2024

    Unfortunately we appear to be heading for certain defeat and a Starmer-led government.
    It has all been so predictable but after 14 years in power for one party, the need for a change is overwhelmingly in the mind of many voters.

    For me, I know that a Labour government will be even worse but I think the defeat will not be as bad as many predict. Labour will really struggle in a campaign led by Starmer and Ginge. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor is a bit better but not sufficient to give voters a great deal of confidence.

    The key to our long term survival is going to be reducing net migration to sustainable figures. That will solve so many problems – especially housing, although we will need to have several years of building 300,000 plus homes to eliminate the backlog. The problem will then be sustaining any growth at all, but we will have no choice other than to invest heavily in AI to reduce the need for office workers and factory automation down to the smallest businesses. That is the only way for us to release enough people to do the jobs that cannot be automated or done by AI.

    Finally, Net Zero will have to be scaled back, whoever is in power. It is simply unaffordable.

  36. Original Richard
    March 6, 2024

    Whatever measures are announced in today’s Budget we’re on a path to impoverishment and social upheaval with the twin policies of Net Zero and mass immigration.

    The Conservative Party has been captured and is now no different to Lab/Lib Dem/Green in desiring an end to the middle class.

    We were warned when Cameron said he was the “heir to Bair” and “vote Blue go Green” (= Red).

  37. Bryan Harris
    March 6, 2024

    No doubt we will see a few give-aways to save a few seats in the next GE, along with promises that things will get easier and better. Nothing will really change.

    As this government, and this Chancellor in particular, have done so much harm to the British economy, nobody can expect any major U-turns.

    The British people are screwed whichever way the cards fall in the next election – Labour would be more oppressive and would certainly move us back into the EU by the back door, making everything so much worse.
    If the Tories remain in office their destructive policies will continue.

    The unfortunate thing is that Labour are seen by most as the only alternative to the Tories, which is very short sighted given what their intentions are.

    The small parties like Reform and UKIP need to come together, but that won’t happen – too much infighting, but if people are not going to vote for them, then it should be for an Independent.

    Politics is a disaster area and we will need a small miracle to get it all put right.

  38. The Prangwizard
    March 6, 2024

    Does 2% inflation with 2% growth = zero growth?

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      March 7, 2024

      Yes we should force the Chancellor to specify everything ‘in real terms’ – i.e compensating for inflation.

  39. Ralph Corderoy
    March 6, 2024

    ‘Government policy must intensify…’

    The Government must have the will and ability to wrest back control.

  40. Keith from Leeds
    March 6, 2024

    I will also comment after the budget, but I expect nothing radical or helpful from our intellectually challenged Chancellor.
    A serious Chancellor would have cut Government spending so he had plenty of room for tax cuts, irrespective of what the OBR have to say! A serious Chancellor would have abolished the OBR by now anyway.
    Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed!

  41. Christine
    March 6, 2024

    Anything delivered today will be far too late to save the Conservative Party. You have squandered 13 years including bickering about Brexit, allowing uncontrolled mass immigration, letting crime get out of control, kowtowing to the diversity woke mob, failing to reform the NHS, allowing the feckless to feed on the hard work of others, giving our tax money to foreign conflicts, forcing net zero on us using dubious data, coercing the public to take a questionable medical intervention, pricing our children out of buying their own home. I can’t think of one benefit you have brought to the British people, not one. Your party should be ashamed of its time in office.

  42. Lynn Atkinson
    March 6, 2024

    Hunt lived up to his own low standard. Fiddle faddle. So pleased I know that he lost his brother and that his son was in the gallery. I think those were the two most important points made today.
    Hunts resume of the economy sounded like a parallel universe. Was he speaking of Britain?
    This is no election winner, it’s a pretty comprehensive election loser!
    The polls will plummet a little – mainly because they have only a little way to go before hitting rock bottom.

  43. Ian B
    March 6, 2024

    13:40, I have just allowed myself to be embarrassed by the pantomime charade of a budget speech. Embarrassed that we have such buffoons as this shower of MP’s, the Jeremy Hunt played the pantomime dame there to goad and bait. Not a serious way to conduct one’s self as leaders, then they wonder way people mirror them and treat them with disrespect.
    All the time as the ship is going down, the deckchairs were being shuffled. The cut in National Insurance was the Chancellor saying there is no longer a recognized fallback contribution system for the people of this Country – so why didn’t he just scrap it altogether? There is no money saved for the taxpayer working or otherwise, fiscal drag has ensured more and more people will pay more than any seeming headline saving. The Chancellor has ensured more people will now be forced in the higher tax bracket; he says they have broader shoulders so can lump it. In rough terms incomes have lost 27% more since 2021. So, in real terms those on the median wage will now after the Chancellors giveaway pay £230.16 more, those sucked into the higher rates even more.

    1. Ian B
      March 6, 2024

      Of course, society & governments have eroded NI, if you contributed the requisite years, you get a State Pension, if you didn’t you still get the same money just worded differently – or in English if you paid in more fool. As for NHS access if you enter the country by criminal means you get the same health benefits as those that contribute.
      Rather than messing around with it, it should ether be scrapped or increased to serve the purpose of its introduction

  44. The Prangwizard
    March 6, 2024

    ‘Tighten the rules against low income migration’.

    Firstly it’s only tightening the rules. That’s hardly firm talk, just tweaking which will have no noticable effect even if implimented which is doubtful. Secondly only ‘low income’ which means everyone else is welcome.


  45. Ian B
    March 6, 2024

    I am concerned with the talk emanating from Government with regards AI. All along it has been recognized they don’t understand it, it is neither ‘artificial’ or ‘intelligent’. It is a Large Language Models using natural language processing. In plain English garbage in garbage out – A1 does not at any time get to think, it is filtering/sifting through data that it has been presented with.
    The real fear is from they way the Conservative Government has presented it, it is to become another Government department employing people that can’t get to play with real IT. If AI is introduced it should be through the contracting the private sector for a fixed term on a competitive basis, price and results. Even then it has to be a real contract of getting to own what you pay for.

  46. glen cullen
    March 6, 2024

    Lacklustre, it could have been written by the UN WEF, UN IMF or the Chinese Politburo ….that wasn’t an election winning budget, it wasn’t a budget for a party who’s tramping in the polls, it wasn’t a conservative budget

  47. ChrisS
    March 6, 2024

    I notice you having an animated conversation with Suella in the chamber.
    I am sure you see eye-to-eye on a lot of policies so would be very interested to know what you discussed……………..

    Reply I was walking to her about the budget

  48. Old Albion
    March 6, 2024

    And the verdict is; totally underwhelming. If you think that will win you the election, you’re going to be bitterly disappointed.

  49. Keith from Leeds
    March 6, 2024

    The budget is a joke but a reflection of the intellectual timidity of Sunak and Hunt. No boldness, no vision, no real reduction of the tax burden. Not even the boldness to unfreeze the tax thresholds and put money in people’s pockets. As a lifelong conservative voter, I will not vote Labour, but I will vote Reform.
    All your hard work was completely wasted, Sir John; they listened to nothing you said.

  50. oldwulf
    March 6, 2024

    We need:

    – more economic activity .. so we tax spending at 20%

    – more jobs .. so employers National Insurance is 13.8%

    – to encourage more people into paid work .. so we freeze the tax threshold and have a generous benefits system … some of them tax free.

    – more children .. so we claw back child benefit for “high” earners.

    – more, hard working small businesses to we retain a low threshold for VAT registration.

    – more trading companies in the UK so we have a 25% corporation tax rate

    – tax from wealthy foreigners living and spending money in the UK but are prepared to risk losing it.

    – more money for public services so we give nearly £6bn of tax benefits to charities without adequate controls to guarantee value for money.

    etc etc

  51. Mickey Taking
    March 6, 2024

    Off Topic.
    The German ambassador to the UK has said there is “no need to apologise” for security breaches which led to a call between top army officials being leaked by Russian sources. Miguel Berger told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme one of the participants had likely dialled in via an insecure line. As a result, Russia was able to intercept the call, he said.
    In the audio, officials can be heard discussing details of alleged British operations on the ground in Ukraine.
    Mr Berger hit back at criticism by former UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who said Germany was “pretty penetrated by Russian intelligence” and “neither secure nor reliable”.
    “It is extremely unhelpful what Ben Wallace has done,” Mr Berger said. “This is what Russia wants.”
    The publication of the call was a Russian “hybrid attack”, he added.
    Mr Berger also said German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius had called allies to explain Berlin’s position over the leak.
    That’s all right, then.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      March 6, 2024

      🤯the German Defence Department uses the pass code 1234! Hunt could have guessed it! I have suggested 4 digits is too much, they change it to 666.

    2. Hat man
      March 6, 2024

      The German general was saying that if they gave Ukraine Taurus missiles, they would have to provide German military to operate them, just as there are British and US military there operating British and US missiles. Unless, MT, you think they didn’t know what they were talking about, they weren’t ‘alleging’ British forces personnel were there, they know it for a fact. Which is probably why our missiles are accurately hitting valuable Russian targets from time to time. Our chaps need real combat practice with their kit, after all.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 7, 2024

        Our missiles were hitting a few civilian targets in Belgarod and Crimea, until the Russians got the jamming right.
        Our actions are an Act of War. The Russians sent a Kinzhal to an hotel accommodating French ‘mercenaries’ some high ranking ones, and killed at least 60. That is why Macron is so exercised.

        But Nuland has gone and the chap who orchestrated the American withdrawal from Afghanistan is appointed. Mrs Zelensky refused to attend Biden’s ‘State of the Union’ Address.

        I believe the USA has decided to withdraw now so that the whole episode will be forgotten by November’s election. Nuland refused to accept that and Mrs Zelensky knows they will not egg the USD 61 billion to buy of the real far-left, he husband in existential danger.

        But rejoice – the end of the slaughter is nigh. Attrition works! You get the territory later.

        1. Mitchel
          March 7, 2024

          Macron is even more exercised by the destruction of French influence and exploitation in their former African colonies by the new Russian-backed regimes in the Sahel.Even their former posterchild,Senegal,is now tottering.

      2. Mitchel
        March 7, 2024

        The Russians have said:”we will destroy our enemies one at a time.”

        The dish that is best served cold is coming!

    3. Ian B
      March 6, 2024

      @Mickey Taking – Germans don’t apologize they are always right and in-charge

  52. Mark J
    March 6, 2024

    The Government wants less people to smoke traditional tobacco. Today it is announced plans are now to add up to £3 in duty on a 10ml bottle of vaping liquid – on top of the 20% VAT the product already attract.

    Sorry, this is nothing more than Government profiteering. Do they really think this policy will stop kids vaping? I can predict here and now it won’t. We will just see vaping become even more unaffordable over time, as duty rates will likely rise year on year for vaping products.

    I am sick and tired of being financially penalised for poor parenting and lack of self control by others. It is high time that parents took some personal responsibility for their children, and others of their own lives, instead of everyone being penalised for it through increased duty and taxation.

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