The PM’s five aims and the Chancellor’s 4 E s

I strongly agree with the Chancellor’s speech when he said “High taxes directly affect the incentives which determine decisions by entrepreneurs, investors or larger companies about  whether to pursue their ambitions in Britain”. This was in tune with his own support for a 15% Corporation tax rate when running for Leader last summer. The UK does need to  be tax competitive, and has just lost its better place in the table of national tax levels with large recent hikes to Corporation Tax, windfall taxes, IR 35 toughening and other measures.

The Chancellor did not reinforce the PM’s wish to end the illegal migrants by boat, though that would of course help control spending where the figures are running away on escalating hotel bills. I am sure he supports the PM, and needs to help him bring it about as quickly as possible. Nor did  he reinforce the aim of getting Health waiting lists down. Again with his wish to control spending so  taxes can be lowered he needs to take an interest in the 3,500 extra managers and 115,000 extra  non medical staff recruited in under 3 years mentioned on this site.

He did reinforce the PM’s wish to halve inflation, and spent the rest of the talk discussing the fifth aim, restoring growth. He proposed better education, adding literacy to the PM’s stressing of maths. He rightly took up the  case of why 1.4 million people say they wish to work yet they cannot get some of the 1m plus job  vacancies and we still hear employers wanting to invite more migrants instead. More people already living here getting jobs would be a huge win all round and I wish him and the rest of the government all speed and success with the improved programmes to get more people into work.

He wants the prosperity and jobs to spread everywhere, which is a great ambition. He said he backs the full cost HS 2 project just hours after it had been suggested the government was considering cutting back on the very expensive last few miles in central London. One of the problems is London has enjoyed large capital investment only recently in the Elizabeth line, and many feel railway investment should now do more for the North. It is ironic that a so called levelling up large spend on HS 2 is wholly concentrated in London and the south for this Parliament for a line which will not reach the North this decade.

Above all he backs enterprise, remembering his own success setting up and growing a company before becoming a Minister. He will find this much easier if he does cut taxes on business and investment in what is now a  very competitive world to attract footloose money and talent.

I will look in a future blog at the inbuilt pessimism in Treasury, Bank and OBR figures which is being used to discourage him from cutting taxes,.


  1. Ashley
    January 28, 2023

    Jeremy Hunt:- “Another big growth area is our green and clean energy sector.”

    “The UK is a world leader here, with the largest offshore wind farm in the world. Last year we were able to generate an incredible 40% of our electricity from renewables. But on one day, a rather windy December 30th, we actually got 60% of our electricity from renewables – mainly wind.”

    Sure Jeremy vastly over priced, vastly subsidised and intermittent wind and solar energy is just great for throttling economic growth! What energy we got from wind on one windy day is irrelevant mate it is the average after costs of back up that matters. Furthermore when you say “renewables” you are absurdly including burning wood at Drax which is idiotic in economic and environmental terms. Far worse than coal.

    Also electricity is only about 20% of our energy use anyway as most energy use is gas, oil, petrol, diesel for heating, industry and transport. Most of the “green” sector is surely pure crony capitalism or even blatant corruption and grant farming.

    Also there is actually no such thing as renewable energy in physics/engineering terms it is a bogus political concept. Longer or shorter lasting perhaps renewable never.

    1. Ian wragg
      January 28, 2023

      This government is fixated on windmills which the Victorians soon discarded in favour of a constant and reliable source from coal.
      National insurance Grid are already paying people to reduce consumption when there is no reliable power plants expected for years. Even these will only partially make up for what is being decommissioned.
      We have many years of precarious power supply and to top it all, the governments answer to high inflation and recession is to increase corporation tax.
      Idiots doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    2. Peter
      January 28, 2023

      It’s just so many empty words.

      I wonder how long this pair can stay in office and how much damage they can do in the meantime.

      1. Donna
        January 28, 2023

        2 years, and a great deal. I think they’re pursuing a scorched earth policy for the incoming Labour Government to inherit.

        1. David Cooper
          January 28, 2023

          Ironic, isn’t it, that when he was initially a high profile backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg once notably observed “politics should not be about making people’s lives difficult”. This pair of pillocks appear to have crossed out the “not” by reference to everything they say and do.

        2. David
          January 28, 2023

          If they’re implementing a scorched earth policy, it’s petty. As for J. R.-Mogg, governments that I assume he supported have made many people’s lives more difficult for decades. The inconsistent rules of VAT and income tax for micro-businesses were an example. The stupidity seemed to get worse regardless of who occupied 10 Downing Street.

          The UK tax regulations also got ever-longer and reportedly reached 20,000 pp. I now understand it may have happened due to more use of tax havens, which proudly offer ‘competitive tax rates’ … sure they do, if you’re Tesco, Amazon or Microsoft.

          Well, so why on earth did we de-regulate to the point that all significant companies now have a regd. office in one or several tax havens? My MP is a director of one of them. It makes no sense for the ‘normal’ 99% of British people because the inevitable result is … lower tax rates for large companies, higher tax rates on individuals and SMEs, i.e. assuming a given level of public services, e.g. libraries.

          Inflation would not have become a problem with competent policies. The rates in Switzerland and Japan are respectively a ‘shocking’ 3% and a ‘horrifying’ 4.4%. I’d happily accept either of those. Some cheese I buy regularly has risen in price from £10 per kg in late 2019 to £18 now. That’s precisely 80% inflation in 3.25 years, or an average annual rate of some 19%. That figure’s for the benefit of the Governor of the Bank of England, who seems unable to add up.

    3. Original Richard
      January 28, 2023

      Ashley :

      100% correct.

      As I write (09:32 am) the 27 GW of installed wind capacity is producing just 2.06 GW and the 13.5 GW of installed solar capacity just 0.17 GW which together totals 2.23 GW or just 6.3% of the 35.3 GW demand.

      If hydrogen was to be used for energy storage produced by electrolysis from excess wind then it would be necessary to build between 8 GW and 10 GW of installed capacity for each 1 GW of reliable/dispatchable power such as we enjoy at present using fossil fuels and nuclear.

      Using a Netherlands Government study for the optimal density of 15 MW offshore wind turbines, 5 MW/Km2, it would be necessary to use half the North Sea to provide all our power.

      Since this is impossible they are intending for us to make “behavioural changes” to accept intermittency and a much lower standard of living. All in order to zero our 1% contribution to global CO2 emissions and “save the planet”.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        January 28, 2023

        Richard. We’ll get your ear defenders in because when multitudes of businesses go bust due to the high price of rip off energy they’ll be moaning that the tax revenue is low. This government are intent on making our lives a misery. What needs to be done with them is unprintable. That includes the useless opposition too.

    4. glen cullen
      January 28, 2023

      Spot on Ashley – not one renewable company would survive without subsidy …its their new profit, they pay dividend to shareholders using taxpayer subsidy, utter madness

  2. Gabe
    January 28, 2023

    Hunt should perhaps concentrate on sorting out the huge balance of trade deficit, the vast public sector borrowing requirement, reducing the highest taxes for 70+ year and still rising, reversing the decline in living standards over over the last 12 years or so, the housing shortage, reforming the mad expensive energy policy, cutting red tape and employment laws and deterring low skilled and illegal immigration.

    This at a time when public “services” are appalling and still declining and the incentives to bother working over benefits levels are often non existent.

    So we have a brain drain, many sensibly investing outside the UK and a lack of inward investment problem too.

    He recognises that inflation is in effect another tax:- “So the best tax cut right now is a cut in inflation.” he says but fails to mention that this inflation was a deliberate policy of the BoE Andrew Bailey & Rishi Sunak’s with their vast money printing scam.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 28, 2023

      Cutting ourselves off wilfully from the world’s richest market on our very doorstep, nay, which surrounds this country, is an interesting approach to balance of trade problems…

      REPLY. What nonsense. At considerable cost we signed a free trade agreement with the EU as you wanted. We and the EURO offer each other most favoured nation trade terms under WTO anyway. Look at the huge import bills from the EU we are still incurring. When we were EU members it was always a very one sided trade in their favour

      1. agricola
        January 28, 2023

        Very true SJR. Accepting the disadvantages of trading with the EU before Brexit it seems to me that they have deliberately set out post Brexit to make trade even more difficult despite WTO / Favoured Nation status.
        Example, I sent a small packet of cheap allergy pills to a friend in the EU, value £5.00 at most, on 24/9/22 . It arrived back yesterday with a pink label saying it required a Customs Declaration, said label stuck next to the Customs Declaration appended by the Post Office. I can only speculate on their response to a less than Favoured Nation. Much as I like many of the countries within the EU, I think the EU should be given Hostile Nation Status.

      2. Denis Cooper
        January 28, 2023

        I recently chanced across this article from September 2016, by a distinguished German economist:

        “The Not-So-High Costs of Brexit”

        “The United Kingdom’s vote to “Brexit” the European Union is on course to become the year’s biggest non-event. Beyond a weaker pound and lower UK interest rates, the referendum has not had much of a lasting impact. Financial markets wobbled for a few weeks after the referendum, but have since recovered. Consumer spending remains unmoved. More surprising, investment has remained consistent, despite uncertainty about Britain’s future trade relations with the EU. Have the costs of Brexit been overblown?

        Not exactly. In fact, the UK may well end up losing the predicted 2-3% of GDP from Brexit. But it is the exit from the single market, not the initial vote to leave, that will bring those losses, and that may happen over a long period. If the exit turns out to be a ten-year process, the losses would be borne gradually over that period, costing the UK about 0.2-0.3% of GDP per year, on average.”

        “Other factors will also cushion the blow of Brexit. Over the last two decades, the UK has transformed its economy to foster unprecedented specialization in services. In the mid-1990s, goods exports were three times as important as services exports, and the majority of British exports went to the EU. Nowadays, the UK exports mostly services – and mostly to non-EU markets.

        As a result, the internal market for goods is far less important for the UK today than it is for other EU countries. The value-added contained in British goods exports to the EU accounts for only about 5% of GDP – several times less than for, say, Germany. Meanwhile, Britain’s non-EU exports account for about 7% of GDP.”

        As he’s a German he has less need to overstate the impact of membership of the EU and its single market on the UK economy, in the way that eurofederalist politicians in the UK have done for the past seven decades.

        1. Margaretbj.
          January 29, 2023

          The financial services ,says Daniel Gros will not be as strong in the future and I presume this is where the uncertainty in banking is reflecting on our lives.

      3. Nottingham Lad Himself
        January 28, 2023

        When we were in the European Union it was not “in their favour”. It was in our favour. We were all the “us”.

        1. Dave Andrews
          January 28, 2023

          It was always them and us. The European Commission does as it pleases and the whole EU has to tow the line. Just the same as any other bureaucracy you might care to mention.

          1. Fedupsoutherner
            January 28, 2023

            Dave. Them and us? Don’t they mean France and Germany and then us?

          2. Bill Brown
            January 29, 2023

            Dave Andrews

            I am not sure most EU citizens would agree.

        2. Sir Joe Soap
          January 28, 2023

          It didn’t feel like that. Look at the trade imbalance. Look at how much the EU public purse spent here versus what we spent there. Look at how the “us” weren’t interested in a level playing field in services. Look at how Cameron was sent away with a flea in his ear. Look at how the EU borders were agreed until Merkel let in her million. We had no say whatsoever because our ideas and EU rules which were agreed to and gold plated by “us” were completely ignored by them.

      4. Lynn Atkinson
        January 28, 2023

        When we joined the Common Market it accounted for 30% of world trade, now it accounts for 15% and falling. It is certainly NOT the worlds richest market and being subsumed in it effectively cuts us off from the other 85%.

      5. James
        January 28, 2023

        Reply to reply – there is a lot more going on with the EU than just moving goods and none of it nonsense. Consider for instance the comment by one businessman who arrived at a German airport recently where he had to wait in line for well over an hour to clear immigration and this behind lines of Indians and Koreans – to top it all he missed his business meeting. Of course nothing like this could ever affect any if our head in the sand politicians who have no need to go to Germany.

        1. dixie
          January 29, 2023

          Sounds very fishy to me – a one hour delay making him miss a whole meeting..
          Even when we were fully in the EU I never planned trips (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria) on such a tight basis and normally flew out the day before if face to face was absolutely necessary given how effective conferencing was even 10 years ago.
          Nowadays group video conferencing would obviate most such travel.

      6. IanT
        January 28, 2023

        It doesn’t seem fashionable to talk about Balance of Trade these days NLH (I wonder why?) – maybe because it’s much “easier” to discuss our economy in GDP terms. But you don’t have to think very long to understand that if you sell much less to others (than you buy from them) then there is a very real transfer of wealth occuring.
        If we look pre-Covid (2019) we had a trade deficit of about £79B with the EU. Compare that with the US which was a much smaller £5B ($6B). That EU trade deficit has fallen to £25B in 2021 – or to put it another way, that’s £54B less on our National trade ‘Credit Card’ in 2021.
        It’s also worth reminding you that the share of UK exports accounted for by the EU has fallen over time from 54% in 2006 to 42% in 2021. The share of UK imports accounted for by the EU also fell from 58% in 2002 to 45% in 2021. So there had been a steady trend away from the EU well before Brexit was voted on in 2016 and actually enacted in January 2020 (just three years ago). It’s a big world out there and there are parts of it that are growing very much faster than the EU can (or ever will) and we should be looking to them for our growth – not the EU.

      7. Mike Wilson
        January 28, 2023

        Cutting ourselves off wilfully from the world’s richest market …

        What balderdash. I have to wonder if you seriously believe that or do you just say nonsensical things for effect. In what way are we cut off from the EU market.

      8. Mickey Taking
        January 28, 2023

        Martin thank you for giving another rib-tickler, you often lighten a rather gloomy start to another year (or 10) of failing economy, funding distant wars, invasion that nobody wants to stop yet we have a 20 mile sea channel to help us, very similar political camps that voters don’t want, sleaze rife evident daily, Royalty beset with scandal and untruths, BBC riddled with leftie sandal-wearing protesters, Police forces finding sexual and violent crimes committed by their own and the countryside being dug up and covered in concrete which requires horrendous levels of energy to make. Please continue to provide laughs – we need them desperately.

      9. Bill brown
        January 29, 2023

        Sir JR
        The trade is done with individual companies in each country not with the EU, so your answer is incorrect.

    2. glen cullen
      January 28, 2023

      BBC ”Hunt has warned it is ‘unlikely’ that there will be room for any ‘significant’ tax cuts in the budget”
      In the old days that statement would bring down a conservative government

  3. Mark B
    January 28, 2023

    Good moring.

    Does anybody remember when Rishi Sunak MP was Chancellor he kept telling us we were he was a believer in low tax ? Well I am sure he was a believer, just not a very good practitioner. And so too with the current incumbent of Number 11.

    I keep saying. The BoE has really only one job in the economy and that is to keep inflation down – That’s it ! And to do that it uses interest rates. As we have both borrowed, printed and peed down the drain an chunk of cash, we now have high inflation. To combat it we must reduce consumption. And to do that we must raise taxes and interest rates.

    Its the BoE that is running the show, not the p(m)uppets in Numbers 10 and 11.

    1. Bloke
      January 28, 2023

      The current Conservative cabinet has too many bad operators who claim to do better but do worse. The Chancellor and PM should be replaced with MPs who maintain high quality standards without unfulfilled pledges. We seek those who achieve valuable results, not those who make false claims about what is beyond their capability.

    2. Dave Andrews
      January 28, 2023

      Maybe I can be a “pay tax at heart” citizen. Then I can claim my non-payment as consistent with government policy.

  4. Javelin
    January 28, 2023

    A large unnecessary cost in Governments is “non-jobs”.

    By that I mean jobs that do not provide a service to the public. If you’re not providing a service to the public then what are we paying you for??

    1. Ian B
      January 28, 2023

      @Javelin – Strangely it was previously agreed by the Conservative Government to reduce the size of the State, then the PM stepped into block the idea and has since increased it further

  5. DOM
    January 28, 2023

    Hunt and Sunak are aiding and abetting Lynch, Starmer, Labour, their unions and Labour LAs by not cutting public spending and by not reducing taxes.

    It is very simple. The more Labour’s woke, unionised State spends the more powerful, embedded and influential it becomes.

    The Tory party is now nothing more than a charlatan imposter whose only purpose is to buy off ie appease Labour and their allies with private taxpayers money to keep themselves ‘in the game’

  6. Ashley
    January 28, 2023

    Hunt in his speech:- “We don’t do nearly as well for the 50% of school leavers who do not go to university as we do for those who do.”

    Well most who do go to university (many without even decent any A levels) end up with fairly worthless degrees in fairly worthless subject, three years loss of earning and £50K+ of student debt round their necks for 30 years plus interest of about £3,500PA on top. Repaid out of after tax/NI income too.

    Far more should learn on the job with day release or night school. Universities are largely subsidised crony capitalism too.

    1. a-tracy
      January 28, 2023

      I know a man who signed up for A levels but dropped out at 17, his family were worried about him but he worked hard, saved a deposit and bought his own two bedroomed home alone, spent time and effort doing it up, ran a car from the age of 18. All without parental help his parents separated. He is now nine years in to his mortgage, paid extra off his mortgage each year so reduced the repayments and it gave him more to pay off, he is hoping to pay it off completely in the next five year. He needed his roof doing so he got a weekend job on a Saturday Night Shift to get the best rate per hour and saved for it.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      January 28, 2023

      Ashley. True. My son at the insistence of his father went to uni and got his degree. He now sells conservatory roofs and makes fantastic money. Did he need a degree? No I don’t think so.

  7. Anselm
    January 28, 2023

    A very sensible and cogent expose of the chancellor who sounded so very convincing on telly yesterday.
    With a couple of trillion (astronomy numbers which most people simply do not understand – including me) to pay off though and the interest due thereon, I can see he is in a pretty pickle.

    1. Ashley
      January 28, 2023

      Divide by circa 20 million gives circa £100,000 per household.

  8. PeteB
    January 28, 2023

    Final line – the biggest factor preventing tax cuts is that they need to happen alongside spending cuts. Few Governments are brave enough to stand up to the crusading for more State money to be spent, let alone brave enough to REDUCE that money.

    1. Peter Wood
      January 28, 2023

      Quite so. Labour AND Tory have created a dependency culture among so many of us.
      Max Headroom Hunt wants the wrinkly meat-sacks to go back to work to produce more tax revenue and GDP, so he can borrow and waste even more money. He wants UK to be the next ‘Silicon Valley’; How very 1980’s!
      I don’t know how it could get much more dystopian.

  9. Berkshire Alan
    January 28, 2023

    We have heard all of the stuff before, but then the opposite action takes place.
    He wanted 15% corporation tax, but pit it up to 25%
    He wants NHS waiting lists to go down, and it gets £ Billions more money, but only recruits more admin staff, it gets no more beds, and Doctors retire early because of pension pot limits
    He wants to encourage the self employed and small businesses but the tax rates are at an all time high.
    He wants to i9mprove transport but the only thing that grows is the number of potholes, ULEZ raes and car parking restrictions and fees. then we hear that HS2 is being downgraded yet again.
    Said enough others can add to the list of double talk/action.

    1. Shirley M
      January 28, 2023

      Agreed. There is far too much deceit in Parliament. They use spin to pretend they are helping the UK, but their actions always achieve the opposite. They destroyed our trust with their deceit and lies, and their damaging policies (or their lack of planning). They have ruined the UK economy and our culture. The UK is unrecognisable in many parts of the country.

      1. MFD
        January 28, 2023

        Shirley M. Agreed. I not do not trust Doctors AND Politicians. I do my utmost to minimise my contact now.

    2. a-tracy
      January 28, 2023

      Alan, Rishi behind the scenes when Chancellor I believe had already agreed with this G7 chums to bring the UK into line.

      Agree about NHS recruitment practices, but who decided on all that administration?
      Who pays nurses to spend 60% of their time on ‘administration’ when we have all these administrators.

      Whilst there is a crisis, it would be all hands on deck if I were in charge. Those fancy Managers would all be getting their hands dirty on the sharp end to see where their endless paperwork trail starts and to see diversity in action.

      My questions would be:

      How many over 50’s did the NHS hire in 2022?
      How many men did the NHS hire into nursing in 2022?

      We need to change the name nurse to ward medic, like paramedic. We need to take the process out of the hands of the people who are putting the workforce plan into place right now. We need to open up lots more training places on the wards, free up clinical nurses from administration. Put at least one more bed back in each ward to improve productivity and pay for another assistant.

      1. margaret
        January 30, 2023

        As an ANP (advanced Nurse practitioner) I am also named as a Nurse Clinician as I work clinically, however I do agree to some extent as a public perception of Nurses is still in the ‘Carry on Nurse’ mode making fun and sexualising Nurses with much focus on bed baths and other more aligned Nursing Assistant duties.

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      January 28, 2023

      The Government has deliberately crashed the NHS, firstly by demanding that it treats the whole world free of charge, agreeing high Pharma costs in the U.K. so that Africa gets its Pharma free (hidden overseas aid) and having a hysterical fit over a seasonal flu.

      1. John
        January 28, 2023

        It’s had a policy since 2020 which has turned almost 80% of patients into quivering hypochondriacs. The ‘fear campaign’ was ethically wrong. See Laura Dodworth’s book. But it was certainly lucrative for the members of the British Psychological Society.

        Apparently via the original ‘Nudge Unit’ the UK is a world leader in brainwashing … so sorry, ‘psychological operations’. I’ve become ashamed of my country for its role in this. No doubt it’ll start again when the next ‘harmful viruses’ are released.

        In 75 years, the NHS seems to have descended from ‘envy of the world’ to a sorry mess. It’s definitely too centralised. The otherwise similar systems in Iceland, Sweden, etc all seem very devolved.

        I don’t even think we can cope with an all-powerful pharmaceutical industry in its present state, given the deeply improper ways in which it’s behaved since 2020. That, however, is probably going too far for JR’s blog.

        1. Hat man
          January 29, 2023

          I wouldn’t have thought your comment was going too far for this blog, John. The whole point of Operation Covid was to get the state to spend billions on support for the pharmaceutical industry. How does the state get money? By taxation. What happens when the state spends more than it raises in taxation? Debt.

          That’s where we came in.

  10. BOF
    January 28, 2023

    We have seen over and over and over again, whatever words come from ministers are never backed by action. Be it immigration, low tax or public expenditure. Instead we get more big state, incontinent spending, high tax to pay for it while doing all they can to discourage business.

    I fully expect that HS2, if completed, will be a failure and massive waste of tax payers money.

  11. Stephen Reay
    January 28, 2023

    Our industry is in a mess. I’ve been trying to buy a car, Ford said there’s a 6 month wait .Toyota said the model I want isn’t yet available as stocks assigned to this country have been sold and Skoda have told me I could wait 9 months for the model I want but they don’t have the car I want to test drive.

    They all blame shortage of parts and the Ukraine war.

    1. Bill B.
      January 28, 2023

      And why not Covid, Stephen? Or Brexit?

      1. a-tracy
        January 28, 2023

        Because some of the cars are not coming from the EU.
        We were told they were stockpiling unsold cars but they were the wrong sort of cars when politicians got involved in bringing targets forward from 2050 to 2030 and went to war on diesel.

      2. Stephen Reay
        January 28, 2023

        Covid exactly.

    2. Mike Wilson
      January 29, 2023

      I was looking at a Lexus the other day – web site says all of 2023’s allocation is sold – in January!

      1. a-tracy
        January 30, 2023

        Who controls the allocation number, the manufacturer or our parliament?

  12. Donna
    January 28, 2023

    “The problem with today’s politicians is they make a speech and think they’ve achieved something. They haven’t; they’ve just made a speech.” Margaret Thatcher.

    Hunt made a speech. He’s achieved nothing and will achieve nothing. I switched off the minute he started extolling the massively expensive, highly subsidised, intermittent and unreliable “green” energy. It’s the Eco Nutters’ obsession with Net Zero that is crippling our economy.

    I’m starting to think the Blu-Green Socialist CONs are deliberately carrying out a scorched earth policy to cripple the next Labour Government and prevent them doing anything much (they might even leave a note saying “sorry but there’s no money left and we’ve destroyed the economy for you to fix) in the belief that the electorate will forgive and re-elect them in 5 years’ time.

    They won’t.

    1. Peter
      January 28, 2023

      Conservatives are reconciled to defeat at the next election. The talk now is that the margin of defeat will not as great as predicted – which would wipe the party out.

      We will find out in due course.

    2. Atlas
      January 28, 2023

      Agreed. I suspect those Conservative MPs who ditched Truss did not expect that their dud choice of a replacement would likely see most of them lose their seats at the next election. The same goes for pro EU / Net Zero fanatic Hunt as well.

    3. Timaction
      January 28, 2023

      No they won’t, they’re toast. They have achieved nothing. Highest ever taxes, highest NHS waiting lists in England, highest legal and illegal immigration and refusal to deport said illegals, failing schools, Councils, Police, paramedics, Brexit regulations, in fact just about everything. Then rubbing our noses in woke, PC diversity as their priorities. English people to the back of all queues. Enough, just go.

  13. agricola
    January 28, 2023

    The Chancellor was polished rhetoric, it remains to be seen what meat is put on the bone because just about everything that needs to be done is in the In Tray. I fear the patient will die from the course of medication on offer.

    1. Bloke
      January 28, 2023

      This Conservative Govt created the ‘Too Difficult’ tray where urgent tasks were delayed, neglected and piled high, teetering on collapse.
      Their remedy for holding up is turning it into a BOTTOMLESS PIT.

    2. IanT
      January 28, 2023

      The best advice is to watch what people actually do – and to listen less to what they say.

  14. mickc
    January 28, 2023

    The Sunak/Hunt leadership can speechify as often as they like, their policies won’t produce growth, increase living standards or fix any of the problems this country has.
    Of course, neither will Labour under Starmer but he will be given the chance to do so. We know the current “Conservative” party is useless; we don’t know about Labour…yet.

  15. Mike Wilson
    January 28, 2023

    The Chancellor did not reinforce the PM’s wish to end the illegal migrants by boat, though that would of course help control spending where the figures are running away on escalating hotel bills. I am sure he supports the PM, and needs to help him bring it about as quickly as possible

    As quickly as possible? As quickly as possible! It’s been going on for years! Which bit is so tricky? Get a couple of Royal Navy boats and put a net, or floating pontoon, between them. Put up some drones and intercept the boats half way across the ENGLISH Channel. Tell them they will not be allowed to land illegally in our country. The boat crossings would stop immediately. People are not going to pay people smugglers if they know they will not be allowed to land here. When the howls go up argue back. Tell the howlers if they want to pay for the hotel accommodation they should do so. Otherwise, no deal.

    1. Wes
      January 28, 2023

      Spot on Mike I feel the same as do many more right minded people.

    2. Wanderer
      January 28, 2023

      Quite, MW. We voted for Brexit, yet Hungary still does a far, far better job of keeping Immigrants out than we do. And before anyone says “well who’d want to settle in Hungary”, take a close look at ourselves.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      January 28, 2023

      Now come on Mike. Get real. You know your common sense ideas won’t be implemented. They have no intention of doing anything. Do they think we are happy paying out all this money?

      1. Timaction
        January 28, 2023

        Serco let the car out of the bag asking landlords to help the boat people to transition to their new life in the UK. Kind of hints at permanence and no deportations. Disingenuous Tory’s, no votes.

  16. Richard1
    January 28, 2023

    Starmer should come out against HS2. It would be a master stroke. He could say OK it was a Labour policy and inspired by EU integration but we have to get serious about waste, the costs have spun out of control and the costs now far exceed any possible benefits. The next Labour govt will get serious about spending taxpayers’ money wisely etc etc. The signal would be enormous – more than a clause 4 moment, and would ensure a big Labour win at the election. Then he can get on with what he really wants to do such as reversing Brexit and putting up taxes.

    1. James1
      January 28, 2023

      The only thing we need to remember about Mr Starmer is that he wanted Jeremy Corbyn to be prime Minister.

      1. MFD
        January 28, 2023

        ✔️ Right first time James

  17. Kenneth
    January 28, 2023

    It’s crazy that that the government is yet again trying to get socialism to work when it has NEVER worked and has always led to more poverty and inequality.

    1. Original Richard
      January 28, 2023

      Kenneth :

      They know this.

  18. formula57
    January 28, 2023

    Why the restraint from Chancellor Hunt from going full patronising New Labour with the apposite slogan “tough on growth, tough on the causes of growth”?

    The slogan sums up his policy better and is easier for voters to grasp than him trying to explain himself whilst juggling with a succession of disposable coffee cups.

    Your economic policies and consequent budget proposals remain substantially more appealing than anything Mr. Hunt has on offer, not least as you hold out the prospect of an economic recovery that the Chancellor eschews.

  19. Ian B
    January 28, 2023

    High taxes also directly create high inflation. The removal of money from the economy causes high inflation – higher prices are needed to balance loss of revenue. The failure even refusal of the Conservative Government to Manage has caused exponential cost increases everywhere.

    Surely these people didn’t believe that their all out desirer to wreck the UK economy with the highest taxes in 70 years wouldn’t effect the price we all now have to pay!

  20. Ian B
    January 28, 2023

    More speeches. Who is telling these people that we need to hear what they would do ‘if’, ‘maybe’, the situation was different. When all along it is they that are the problem, they flatly refuse to do the job they are paid for and believe blaming everyone else is the way to solve the situations they caused instead.

  21. Nigl
    January 28, 2023

    Yet again obsession with literacy and numeracy as in the past with apprenticeships. As if this is the tap that will turn growth on. Obviously it will have an impact but needs societal change from the home environment through schools etc and will take umpteen years, if ever achieved. Politicians have been spouting this guff for decades. If Hunt/Sunak believe this, we are in a worse place than I thought. They are prisoners of Treasury/BOE groupthink and too weak to push back.

    Want to make an almost instant difference, cut tax, make us more attractive to inward investment, stop outflows.

    Want to reduce inflation, stop pouring very inefficient money into the economy, drive efficiencies reduce budgets. To ese again. We/you are doomed.

  22. ChrisS
    January 28, 2023

    I am afraid that I don’t believe any of this government’s expressed support for business. Ministers might be full of good intentions but they allow the Woke civil servants, who really run the show, to present only policies that are at best business neutral. Running two businesses, I get the impression that most departments like HMRC, are run in a way that makes the life of Civil Servants as easy as possible, whatever the consequences for the rest of us.

    Otherwise, how can they explain IR35, the self-employed being required to make quarterly tax returns, and VAT submissions no longer being able to be made on the HMRC Website but via compulsory 3rd party software that we now have to pay for.

    How can Hunt and Sunak expect to attract overseas investment with corporation tax going to 25% in April ?
    We should be reducing it from 19% to 12.5%, the same as the current rate in Eire. That low rate has been responsible for increasing their GDP Per Capita to twice ours over the last 30 years.

    1. James1
      January 28, 2023

      So one part of the public sector takes money away from taxpayers. Another part of the public sector gives some of the money back in grants etc., (the government having taken their cut along the way). It would be much more sensible if they just took less money in the first place. That way we could turn loose tens of thousands to do some productive work in the private sector, i.e. actually producing useful goods or services that people want.

  23. Ian B
    January 28, 2023

    The so-called jargon of ‘levelling Up’ is just that jargon, a headline grabbing sound-bite.

    If we had a proper UK Government they would but out of things that could be done regionally or locally. Central Government is playing at being everyone’s local Government and trying to dictate what is right in Metro London on everyone.

    Then again if they started managing the State/Civil Service side that pertains to the whole of the UK they wouldn’t be thrashing around looking to make a speech and a headline grabbing sound-bite just to make ‘themselves believe’ they are doing something.

  24. glen cullen
    January 28, 2023

    I must’ve been watching a different speech

  25. Lynn Atkinson
    January 28, 2023

    The chancellor should also look at the tax take generated from the ‘stamp duty holiday’ Mr Sunak brought in. The housing market is stagnant again which does not help enterprise (only migrants can easily go to where the jobs are – the native population are stuck in their unsaleable homes), tax revenue or the mood of the electorate.

    1. Peter Parsons
      January 28, 2023

      Cause and effect. The temporary reduction caused a massive shift in when people moved house (lots people who were thinking of moving in a year, 2, 3 years time bought that forward and all tried to move in the same 6 month period). If you compress 2-3 years worth of normal transactions into a 6 month period, it should be pretty obvious as to what’s left in the remainder of that 2-3 years – not much. The housing market is now experiencing a holiday hangover, not helped by the higher interest rates that the Truss-Kwarteng budget helped bring about.

  26. James
    January 28, 2023

    Listening to a piece yesterday where one commentator laid out the cost for building HS2 to be around one hundred billion. By this reckoning I was thinking that if we built ten HS2’s it would cost only 1,000,000,000 × 10 = 10,000,000,000 – give or take a zero

    1. Mickey Taking
      January 28, 2023

      It left £100bn behind some time ago. It is rapidly heading for £150bn, and with the leaked report on making Old Oak Common the terminus, not Euston, and likely over-runs of 2 to 3 more years, the cost is possibly making it the biggest white elephant in the world.

  27. James Freeman
    January 28, 2023

    In light of changes to commuting patterns since the pandemic, the government should revisit the business cases for the parts of HS2 not already committed. They should look at maximising the benefits, as well as reducing costs. The project needs viewing from a commercial angle. For example:

    * Build new stations with Towns around them and realise the land value gain to offset the costs.

    * Do we still need a terminal at Euston? The business case for this extension needs doing again as it ignored opening an overground station at Old Oak Common to serve travellers to North and South London as the alternative to Euston.

    * Is it better to connect HS2 to HS1 via an underground tunnel? Although slightly more expensive, this approach would create an East-West Thameslink by extending the existing Javelin service from Kent. This approach would create opportunities to develop new communities along the route, relieving pressure on housing elsewhere. It would also enable direct trains to the continent from Birmingham and elsewhere on the HS2 network.

    * Connect HS2 to the South London rail network via a tunnel to Clapham Junction. Getting to the Midlands and the North from the south of the river is a nightmare, and this route would be considerably quicker and avoid the underground.

    * How about a station at East Midlands airport rather than going underneath it? The Airport might even pay for it.

  28. David Cooper
    January 28, 2023

    In summary: “Now practice what you purport to preach, Chancellor.” Will he? Better not hold our breath, or give a great deal of benefit of the doubt to a globalist managerialist elitist…

  29. Bryan Harris
    January 28, 2023

    Nothing for us to cheer about in that statement. Certainly nothing substantive that we can hang on to, to see us through the dark cold days.

    When the Chancellor does something worthwhile I will be the first to be grateful — Some crumbs, please, Chancellor.

    Same old business with HS2 – that would never have gotten off the ground if the costs had been properly exposed. Surely it is going ahead ONLY because it links in with the EU rail network.

  30. hefner
    January 28, 2023

    As part of the emails I regularly receive from HMRC as a self-assessment tax payer I got today an interesting 10-page document ‘SA102MPM1: Self Assessment for MPs and Ministers’.
    Anybody who also got that document today in their mailbox should really look at pages 6 to 9, particularly under the heading ‘Expenses incurred and capital allowances’.

    As in Animal Farm ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’.

    1. glen cullen
      January 28, 2023


    2. EU fan
      January 28, 2023

      That has little to do with offshore trusts and their taxation treatment.

  31. Bert Young
    January 28, 2023

    The combination of Hunt and Sunak is disastrous . Words mean nothing . The public are desperate for something good to happen and provide some glimmer of hope that we can emerge from the black hole we are in . Churchill and Thatcher rallied the nation through strong leadership and follow up action ; their method of approach is what is needed today . Incentives at the moment are a vital stimulus to public reaction .

  32. James1
    January 28, 2023

    I believe that conservatives who think they might narrowly fail at the next election are whistling in the dark. It’s just too late to turn the situation around, and they are likely to be trounced. Many will think deservedly so due to the abysmal performance (to say the least) of a supposedly Conservative government.

    1. IanT
      January 28, 2023

      It is of course never too late James – but Mr Hunt & Sunak are stuck between a rock and a hard place unfortunately – not all of their own making obviously but not helping either really.

      It’s a bit like Musical Chairs, sooner or later the music stops and someone is left standing (or in this case – not).
      Or if you prefer a different metaphor, our politicians have been kicking cans down the road for too many years and eventually someone was going to run out of road . Mr Starmer will blame it all on the Tories but will promptly start ‘kicking cans’ again. What was it Private Fraser used to say? 🙂

  33. Keith from Leeds
    January 28, 2023

    Your correspondents have summed it up very well. In Sunak & Hunt, we have two mediocre people with no vision for the UK. They do what the Treasury & BOE tell them. Why do they not face the fact the cost of government is far too high & only by cutting that significantly can they cut taxes to stimulate growth. Jeremy Hunt is supposed to be a successful businessman, yet cannot see the damage he is doing by making corporation tax 25%! As for net-zero, do none of our MPs do any research or reading about it? Their minds appear to be totally closed to investigating the damage it is doing, & will do to the UK! No real cost analysis has been done & the mythical green jobs are a joke!
    As a child, I watched the invisible man on TV, and now we have him as Prime Minister!

  34. Ex-Tory
    January 28, 2023

    I can’t take seriously a Chancellor who a few weeks ago introduced some of the most pernicious tax rises ever imposed on businesses and wealth creators and now says he wants the economy to grow.

  35. Fedupsoutherner
    January 28, 2023

    Basically John, in a nutshell, the country is on a hiding to nothing and it’s going to get worse all the time the numpties insist on net zero. End of.

    1. Mickey Taking
      January 28, 2023

      Pretty succinct…

  36. Beecee
    January 28, 2023

    I read that the OBR state that the Economic forecast they made in November, two months ago, is wrong.

    Perhaps a fifth ‘E’ should be – ‘ere we go again!

    1. Beecee
      January 28, 2023

      Sorry, I meant to say BofE.

  37. Ian B
    January 28, 2023

    @Ian B

    Recent quote to the media. “It was not about rogue staff or a rogue hospital. It was about a rogue system. A rogue system that I, as health secretary, sat at the top of.” Jeremy Hunt

  38. Mickey Taking
    January 28, 2023

    Andrew Bailey will stage a humiliating U-turn next week as he is expected to row back on ‘grossly exaggerated’ forecasts about the UK’s looming recession. The Bank of England will publish its latest quarterly Monetary Policy Report on Thursday setting out the projections used by policymakers to set interest rates.
    In November, Bailey warned the country faces the longest recession on record and soaring unemployment. The Bank said the UK was at the start of a painful slump that could leave an extra 1m workers jobless.
    But ahead of next week’s update a top fund manager said Bailey will backtrack on his comments, producing a ‘relatively improved outlook’.

    Do I detect the hand of Sunak in needing supporting positive voices?

  39. rhoddas
    January 28, 2023

    Aims should be to move from left of Tory Blair to perfectly right:
    * For as long as we need fossil fuels, they should come from our own indigenous sources, not imported.
    * Resolves high energy prices, reduces inflation, increases jobs & tax revenues, pays off (some) of our too massive national debt and starts up paying into a sovereign wealth fund. Can turn it off once the alternatives are up and running and similar paying tax levels.
    * Decide who is really responsible for the lousy performance of the NHS, then make it clear they either fix it or they lose their jobs/pensions – as would happen in the private sector.
    * All new NHS hospitals MUST USE a SINGLE WAY OF WORKING…. with maximum automation and standard IT Architecture. No exceptions.
    * Cut public spending, cut taxes, incl IR35 and use a Trussonomics Lite model to kick start growth without blowing up the markets.

  40. Bill brown
    January 28, 2023

    Sir JR
    Talking about the government not cutting taxes due to OBR, Treasury and BoE forecasts is not only wrong but also rather demeaning.
    You must be able to do better than that, very weak argument and not trustworthy

  41. Tony Quickman
    January 28, 2023

    Alas, how typical of today’s MP. Says one thing when fighting (in public) for a promotion, then contradicts it once he/she actually gains office.
    The finger of guilt must then point to the common denominator in every case. The Whitehall/Westminster Civil Service machine.

  42. Lynn Atkinson
    January 28, 2023

    The German Foreign Minister says ‘we are at war with Russia’. Ukraine speaks of ‘the Allies providing ammunition,The losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reported data transmitted by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny to the Pentagon, amount to 232,000 killed.

    Ukraine needs a new army. Will we be sending challenger tank crew with the tanks?

    Don’t we need a war-time budget? The NHS put on a war footing ready to receive casualties from the battlefield? Surely this is a ‘we will provide all that is required’ situation? Get the printing presses spinning,

  43. Fedupsoutherner
    January 28, 2023

    I’ve just looked at the price for the new rubbish electric Nissan. £43k!!!!! They’re having a laugh. Nissan used to be the go to car for low prices. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Net bloody zero and all that rubbish. Just how many people on minimum wage can afford to pay that for a modest cat just to get to work? Or even those of a medium wage wuth a great big mortgage for a rabbit hutch in the South?

    1. Berkshire Alan
      January 29, 2023


      Just purchased a new diesel after seeing the chaos at motorway service stations at Christmas, with people waiting hours to access chargers.
      Local Tesla Charging Centre at Winnersh under water a couple of weeks ago. (not for the first time)
      They built it on a flood plain !
      They call it progress !

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