The government’s proposals in the budget

  • Today we deliver our Budget for Growth by focusing on the Chancellor’s four pillars of Enterprise, Employment, Education and Everywhere:
    • Extending 30 hours of childcare a week to working parents of children aged 9 months to 4 years
    • Paying Universal Credit childcare costs up front rather than in arrears
    • Introducing reforms to the childcare sector including changes to 2-year-old staff: child ratios from 1:4 to 1:5
    • Introducing a £25 billion three-year tax cut for business investment
    • Increasing the annual pension allowance to £60,000 and abolishing the Lifetime Allowance
    • Establishing a new Universal Support programme for disabled people and the long-term sick
    • Abolishing the Work Capability Assessment and increasing the Administrative Earning Threshold to 18 hours
    • Extending the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 for three months
    • Freezing fuel duty for a thirteenth year, saving the average driver around £200
    • Delivering a Brexit Pub Guarantee so draught duty will always be less than duty in supermarkets
  • By doing so we will remove the obstacles that stop businesses investing, tackle the labour shortages that stop them recruiting, break down the barriers that stop people working, and harness British ingenuity to make us a science and technology superpower.

123 Comments

  1. agricola
    March 15, 2023

    I am inclined to wait and see how it all pans out when we have seen and experienced the small print. Corporation Tax at 25% is still a bad headline even if there are opportunities to offset it. It is your job to try to sell it, but ours to decide whether to buy it. Caveat emptor.

    1. Ashley
      March 16, 2023

      Alas we are not free “emptors” who can take of leave the absurd 30% increase in CT taxes. We all have to pay it or go to prison. It is paid not just by businesses but by customers higher prices, pension funds in lower returns, workers with lower wages, less investment, fewer jobs, less growth, lower productivity…and less tax in the end too. The only alternative are go black market, move overseas, give up, live on benefits and barter or spend money and time with tax advisors.

      In short another mad policy like net zero, HS2, ULEZ, Lockdowm, test and trace, eat out to help out…

      1. Lifelogic
        March 16, 2023

        People seem to think the pension changes are a tax cut. Well they are for the few who are about to crystalise their pensions and have over £1,070K in their pots. But for most people pensions are just a tax deferral you do not pay the tax now but paying when you draw the pension. The tax free sum allowed is 25% of 25% of the £1,070K so this has not changes. Labour say they will reverse the change if they gain power so putting more in your pension now could be a mistake if you do not draw it before the next election. You might will find you pay more tax on your pension than the tax you save now.

        Spring Budget 2023 – Full expensing tax to death Hunt claims. But not for property rental businesses who cannot deduct interest fully so pay tax on “profits” they have not even made. In effect tax at over 100%. So would be tenants get far less choice, existing tenants higher rents, people sensibly leaving the market in droves.

  2. Ian wragg
    March 15, 2023

    I haven’t heard him cancel the ruinous CT I crease or restoring the VAT on goods leaving the country.
    He says it’s a budget for growth. Maybe for China and the EU but certainly not for Britain.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      March 15, 2023

      He grew the State Sector!
      Fiddle fiddle, tinker, tinker, squander cash, opportunity and prosperity.
      Exactly what you would expect from Hunt.
      Pity the OBR staff missed out in the ‘maths until 18’ dictum.

      1. Sulis
        March 15, 2023

        Lynn Atkinson
        Indeed , your post reminds me of a little song I learnt in Northumberland.
        ” Wind about and turn again and thrice around the Hurl stone, Round about and wind again and thrice around the Hurl stone”.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          March 16, 2023

          Pretty soon that song morphs into:
          ‘When in danger, when in doubt,
          Run in circles
          Scream and shout.’

      2. Lifelogic
        March 16, 2023

        +1 – we have in the main got fools living in no 10 & 11, fools in parliament (with almost zero science, logic or maths), fools at the BoE and FCA and fools at the OBR. It is an anti-growth, anti-investment and anti UK policy.

    2. glen cullen
      March 15, 2023

      Even Jacob Rees-Mogg apologised on GB News tonight for the increase

      1. MFD
        March 16, 2023

        Am I the only person who gets angry when i look the smirking clown!
        Incompetent too!

  3. Berkshire Alan
    March 15, 2023

    No change in the fiscal drag that are personal tax allowances then, thus still annual tax rises in real terms for everyone who gets a pension or wage increase
    With inflation at 10% that will also mean an increase in the Vat tax take for the Chancellor on all goods that attract this tax.
    I see he is still using the OBR even though they got their sums wrong in the Autumn announcements, indeed he even mentioned the figures now were different than had been forecast just 6 months ago.
    Then he says he is using the figures they are forecasting for 5 years ahead.

    1. Old Albion
      March 15, 2023

      Another opportunity to remove VAT from domestic energy bills is not taken……………………..

    2. Mickey Taking
      March 16, 2023

      YES – inflation at 10% on products we buy means 2% (VAT @20%) more tax taken for the Chancellor.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      March 16, 2023

      And still no tax on benefits

  4. acorn
    March 15, 2023

    “Another manufacturer bypasses Britain – because of Brexit
    The world’s largest seller of electric and hybrid cars will not consider building its first European car factory in the UK because of the impact of Brexit” (New European)

    1. Ian wragg
      March 15, 2023

      Nothing to do with brexit just that the government doesn’t want any new manufacturing as it skews net zero
      That’s the whole point of he CT increase, nor for growth but the opposite.
      They won’t even order British made SMRs as they would rather they be manufactured abroad.
      This is a budget for China.

      1. Ian B
        March 15, 2023

        @Ian wragg +1 so very, very true

      2. Donna
        March 16, 2023

        Correct. Unless it’s “Life Sciences” manufacturing new “vaccines” which the MHRA will be given the authority to approve with very little safety testing and even fewer questions asked.

        1. jerry
          March 17, 2023

          @Donna; The announcement by the Chancellor (who was both one time SoS at Health and then chairman of the Health committee) suggested a fast track for medicines that have already gone through comparable approval in other countries, that does not necessarily indicate any lowering of our own standards.

    2. British Patriot
      March 15, 2023

      Hahaha. You are clearly the sort of person that Stalin called a “useful idiot” – except in your case acting for China rather than Russia. You are referring to the statement by the Chinese company BYD that they will build a battery factory in the EU rather than UK ‘because of Brexit’, but this is a complete LIE. BYD is controlled by the Chinese communist party. They are very angry about the AUKUS deal, and have for some time been slagging Britain off because of this. They are now trying to appeal to the inherent anti-British sympathies of the Remainer Remoaners by seeking to play on their opposition to Brexit. They have been doing this for a while, and this is the latest example. So this announcement has NOTHING to do with Brexit but everything to do with China’s anger at the AUKUS deal and Britain supplying Australia with submarines.

    3. Dave Andrews
      March 15, 2023

      Very good of the New European to let government off and blame it on Brexit. I would not be so kind.

    4. jerry
      March 15, 2023

      @acorn; Hardly a reliable source, and given the recent changes at a certain, LSE listed, ‘Big Oil’ company I suspect there is likely more to this than what ‘The New European’ newspaper suggests.

      It is also clear there are major issues with the raw materials and quantity manufacturing of EV traction batteries (including environmental, hence the recent protests in Germany), there is also the on-going issues of European electricity generation grid capacity, never mind the actual charging infrastructure. It is quite possible that EV’s, other than as niche products, will become dead in the water. Fuel cells are likely the future if the western world really does have to move away from hydrocarbons, due to peak-oil, not CO2.

    5. hefner
      March 15, 2023

      Today on the M4 a convoy of four blue-flashing Metropolitan Police Audi A8s passing everybody’s cars at what might have been 100 mph.
      Vorsprung durch Technik.

    6. Michelle
      March 16, 2023

      Oh the New European said that did they?
      I would expect little else.
      Brexit is just the gift that keeps on giving for some, whatever the problem is it’s bound to be down to Brexit.
      Rather lets those who have been mismanaging things here for far too long off the hook doesn’t it.
      EU rules seemed to be used a lot for inertia and any problems that arose, now that hiding hole has been filled in (sort of) we find it’s Brexit that is at fault for everything.

    7. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 16, 2023

      Yes, the logic is staring us in the face but still the stumbling, glassy-eyed brainwashed deny it.

      And what the blazes has a decision on pub duty to do with brexit?

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        You will be able to raise your frothy glass and all cheer ‘here’s to Brexit’.

    8. Bill B.
      March 16, 2023

      BYD’s decision couldn’t have anything to do with the sharp rise in corporation tax, could it, Acorn?

      1. hefner
        March 16, 2023

        The UK was not even in the first ten possible European countries that BYD has been considering for setting up a factory (cleantechnica.com, 13/03/2023).

        1. a-tracy
          March 16, 2023

          Very foolish of them hefner if they want to open a new market in our Country, they have been having problems with their batteries burning down homes in China so perhaps its just as well they don’t want easy access to our big market. Source Reuters, Just Auto and others.

    9. a-tracy
      March 16, 2023

      Chinese Car Maker Rules Out UK Factory ‘Because Of Brexit’.
      “As an investor we want a country to be stable,” the European president of BYD declared.To open a factory . . . is a decision for decades. Instead, BYD are looking to build a factory in Germany, France, Spain, Poland or Hungary.”

      I wonder in which of these Countries they will be building their right-hand drive vehicles for the British market?
      “Up until now BYD has only supplied electric buses to the UK, but March sees the arrival of the Atto 3 electric SUV, which is being made available in three versions: Active, Comfort and Design. In a separate statement, Shu said that the company recognised the UK as one of the top European markets. Two days ago.”

      The question we should be asking and our government should be answering is ‘how can a Chinese country build in Spain, France or Germany and still be more cost-effective building and shipping longer distance a specific right-hand drive vehicle for our market than we would be building it for the local market in the UK?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        March 16, 2023

        Really? Or is it because we are even more Gung-Ho when it comes to taking on the worlds biggest nuclear power with a pop-gun. China is thinking they are next when we tell them how they should deal with Taiwan.

      2. jerry
        March 17, 2023

        @a-tracy; Given that Japan, China, Australia, NZ and others all drive on the left, as does the UK and Ireland, given the costs of building a small number of RHD vehicles on the same production line as the majority European LHD vehicles, it might actually be cheaper to ship UK/Ireland vehicles from the far east. Do BYD say which factory will be supplying the (EU26) Irish market?

        1. a-tracy
          March 18, 2023

          I tried to find which BYD factory would be shipping cars to the UK and I couldn’t find it.
          I hadn’t realised China drove on the left, that seems like a big benefit to the UK for cheaper makes eventually.
          Can they make them so much cheaper in the far east than they could locally in the UK, how much would say a £20,000 car cost to make in the UK compared to the Far East now? Do you know? Then how much would the shipping into the UK cost per vehicle? I read they put their buses they sell in the UK together in Falkirk but I may be wrong.

  5. Keith from Leeds
    March 15, 2023

    The budget was not what the UK needed, just tinkering around the edges. The increase in CT is a disaster & once again, the Chancellor has chosen the complicated way instead of the sensible one.
    Business plans long term & a sensible reduction in CT, with the promise of more to come, would have done more to boost growth than anything else. This is a timid budget from a timid Chancellor & a timid government. No focus on cutting the cost of government to allow sensible tax cuts for everyone.
    You can guarantee some tax cuts in next year’s pre-election budget, but it will be too little, too late.

  6. Lifelogic
    March 15, 2023

    Well the pension lifetime limit abolition is good but when exactly does this start JR.

    Will it be just before Labour get in and reverse it? Though the 25% tax free is still stuck at 25% of the ~ £1070k I note.

    Rather annoying for anyone who just paid a huge 55% tax on a £million or so! Not me thank goodness. How can people make sensible investment decisions on pensions etc. when politicians keep changing the rules and moving the goal posts? Still it creates lots of parasitic jobs in the state sector and the private sector for tax advisors, pension providers, compliance people, HMRC staff, the courts…and distracts them from productive jobs!

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      March 15, 2023

      Yes this LTA change benefits a very select group in the £60K to £260K range who can afford to forego up to £60K of income taxed otherwise down to around £30K. Probably those in their 50s plus trust fund kids.

      Also though removes the age 75 anomaly which is a benefit.

      1. James Freeman
        March 16, 2023

        These are our most productive people who pay most of the taxes keeping our public services going. We need them working for as long as possible!

        1. Mickey Taking
          March 16, 2023

          The public services I am interested in are paid for out of my Council Tax, Police, social services, waste provision, libraries, road maintenance, new schools etc.
          Those earning £260k pay for what public services? Defence, Giving Aid to largely non-deserving, rescuing on the high-seas, paying for Civil Service sinecures, Government hordes, Royal Family etc.

      2. hefner
        March 16, 2023

        Removal of the 75-year anomaly is certainly a benefit. Properly dealt with, SIPPs become the best way to pass money to children and ignore IHT. However some advice from a competent solicitor/financial adviser might still be required as it is not clear that trusts will lose their appeal for passing down ‘cash’ to younger generations.

  7. Ashley
    March 15, 2023

    The problem with the childcare is it will not cover most childcare cost and will have lots of red tape and a doubtless there will be a shortage of provisions. Will not cover granny or a friend or nanny doing it I suspect.

    Funny that people earning v. large sums will get free childcare but if you earn more than £50k+ you start to lose your child benefits – with marginal tax rates at circa 80%. A couple earning £49k each so £98k are OK though. Total insanity as usual.

    1. a-tracy
      March 16, 2023

      The friend could do it if they register as a childminder properly. There is supposed to be a lump sum available to help them to do this.

  8. Glenn Vaughan
    March 15, 2023

    The budget can be summed up as The Day of the Jackal.

    1. glen cullen
      March 15, 2023

      More like the ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        Heads I win, Tails you lose?

  9. glen cullen
    March 15, 2023

    For fans of red dwarf; the chancellor is the hologram second-class technician Rimmer and delivered a second-class budget

    1. Ian B
      March 15, 2023

      @glen cullen – a bit unfair Rimmer was far better than this Chancellor, or for that matter any of these pretend accidental members of a Conservative Government. Dont forget this is the guy in his previous position that started the rot in the NHS and now gets to finnish the Country off.

  10. glen cullen
    March 15, 2023

    Billions wiped from the value of UK banks today

    1. Bloke
      March 16, 2023

      Account holders fleeing a wobbly bank cause synchronous resonance.
      The energy they exert in trying not to fall makes them even more wobbly.
      Increasingly the bridge between worse and better shakes its banks to destruction.

  11. Mickey Taking
    March 15, 2023

    What a waste of time for 95% of the people, the Electorate, Nothing done for workers on the low end of incomes.
    Those who don’t work for all sorts of reasons get some help…
    I only wish in years gone by I was paid enough to increase pension investment from £40k to £60k per year, mine was nothing even close. Everything I have as outgoings have gone up alarmingly during the last year and no sign of it slowing. Corporation Tax will be an economy killer. So help with heating bills extended for April, May, June when we ought not to use as much power for heating! NOT January, February, March next year! We are modest users of car fuel and yet will be hit by tax on wine, the help with heating swimming pools – he’s having a laugh.
    Prison for those legally finding ways to avoid tax? Taking a cane to those who make fools of our Tax system?
    In summary another annual bore of a budget, what does the claw back small print contain?

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 15, 2023

      held back again.

    2. a-tracy
      March 16, 2023

      ‘Low end workers’ remember got a national insurance increased tax free allowance from £9500 to £12500 at 12%. The childcare proposals will help low end workers.
      I always reduce my heating and lighting requirements from April through the summer so they need to sort something out by September.
      Union Members get improved terms and conditions, but then they don’t get discussed a couple of years down the line, the time off such as one full day a fortnight out of the classroom for marking, planning, preparation. The extra 3% employers are paying into employees personal pensions forgotten even though employers national insurance rose to 14%. When wages from 1998 to date are discussed hours comparisons are never done, people have dropped an incredible number of hours for better pay and increased their home/work balance.

  12. jerry
    March 15, 2023

    Our host did make a very good speech, the Rt Hon. members for North East Hampshire and East Antrim where perhaps even better, although I doubt the Chancellor thinks so! The usual HMT ‘smoke and mirrors’ obviously did not work to well it seems; as they say, the devil is always in the detail, in this case the Red Book…

    The Chancellor says he wants to promote economic growth yet SME’s appear ignored (yet again), nothing done about the absurd UBR costs, no change to VAT, either rate or threshold.

    1. jerry
      March 15, 2023

      If the country is so short of fit and able workers [1] why are so many fit and able school leavers still being allowed to take student loans and then spend years at College or Uni’ studying full time (16+ hours) non-STEM subjects. Is it not time to review this New Labour era policy from 1997. Time to return to a more sustainable system of on the job training system perhaps, were day-release, block-release (and even night-school) allowed for academic and examinations?

      [1] that the govt wants the often already mentally and/or physically worm out older person to return to the workplace

      1. Michelle
        March 16, 2023

        I agree, reference the University point.
        I’ve never believed in the mantra of shortage of workers, and certainly even less so now when millions have come here since Blair started down that track with that excuse.
        A Hansard debate back in the days of Blair blew that out of the water with research showing otherwise and a note from a true Conservative that even if that were true mass immigration is not the answer.
        The Spanish government uses this excuse for bringing in young African men, while having a high rate of youth unemployment amongst its own.

  13. British Patriot
    March 15, 2023

    What an absolutely APPALLING Budget. Businesses clobbered with a 30% tax increase. Fiscal drag pulling MILLIONS more people into tax, at both the standard and higher rate. No VAT cut, which could have helped reduce inflation, and hence cut government spending. All in all, a disaster. And the only semi-decent policy, the business investment incentive, is both limited in scope and time. Pathetic. None of the policies I called for in my British patriot substack blog have been delivered. NONE.

    Sir John, I assume, given your previous strong criticism of the increase in corporation tax, that you will be consistent with your beliefs and vote AGAINST this budget. Am I right?

    1. glen cullen
      March 15, 2023

      Its hard to conceive any conservative voting for a tax rising budget ….but they all will

      1. jerry
        March 16, 2023

        @glen cullen; Of course conservative MPs will vote for this omni-shambles of a budget, after all turkeys do not vote for Christmas either…

      2. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        and behind hands covering mouth they will murmur, ‘we can change it back after re-election’.
        Except they won’t get re-elected.

  14. British Patriot
    March 15, 2023

    I am also DISGUSTED at the betrayal of Rolls Royce and their SMRs. These would have been designed and built in the UK, creating jobs and pushing forward British technology and engineering. It would have made RR a stronger more diversified company, paying more corporation tax to the exchequer and it would have created a UK global champion in nuclear power.

    Instead, Hunt the Traitor is going to open the door to FOREIGN companies to come here and steal the work. A complete DISASTER for the UK. And what did all the Tory backbenchers do? They cheered. Shame on you all. Truly sickening.

    1. glen cullen
      March 15, 2023

      You can cut it anyway you want but he’s got a conflict of interest

    2. Lifelogic
      March 15, 2023

      RR certainly need something to rescue their dire share performance. Not sure the small reactors are a sensible way to go for the county though.

  15. RDM
    March 15, 2023

    What rubbish!

    Without Cash-flow or Savings to match, a company would be reliant on Bank lending, not something, anyone with any sense would do!

    This only helps big company’s!

    Hardly a Tax cut?

    No support for the self employed, owner Drivers, and no change to IR35?

    Where does someone in Wales get a start-up capital? £25k wouldn’t pay the diesel for the first month?

    What is the point of the Conservative Party?

    State-ism!

    A Pension boost for Dr’s?

    The Labour Party by any other name!

    1. Ian B
      March 15, 2023

      RDM – but, he is doubling down on increasing the State. More security and gold plated pensions in the jobs-for-the-boys charade

  16. William Smith
    March 15, 2023

    Another example of positive bluster from this Government. Why oh why do parents have to wait until September 2023 to receive the additional childcare costs when they need it now. This addition only affects those children to 4 years old, what about the additional charges that parents face when their children go to school for School Breakfast and After School Clubs ?
    This is certainly not a Budget to regain or even retain Conservative voters; you might as well clear your desks now and hand power to these disgusting Lefties. Shameful altogether.

  17. Dave Andrews
    March 15, 2023

    Better to put the tax on dividends rather than profits. That way, companies can choose to hold on to profits from one year to invest in the next, particularly for those big items that represent more than one year’s worth of profits.

    1. glen cullen
      March 15, 2023

      Why tax either …..businesses the providers of employment, builders of national growth and producers of the countrys needs ….leave them alone to make profit and grow

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      March 16, 2023

      For heavens sake! They tax turnover! In fact they are obsessed with turnover: think GDP.
      They cannot grasp that if you are making a loss on every transaction, the fewer transaction entered into the better. They simply don’t understand what ‘solvent’ is! That’s why they want more and more loss-making immigrants – because the more people the higher the turnover and they think the associated loss is ‘a global phenomenon’ as Pelosi declared ‘the cost of living crisis’.
      The western political class is so dumbed down, they can’t even use the word ‘inflation’

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        inflation is what happens in preparing to make a bubble or balloon, but it all ends in tears.

        1. glen cullen
          March 16, 2023

          or a big bang

  18. forthurst
    March 15, 2023

    This budget appears to be aimed more to please at the personal than the corporate level. Does this mean the Tories will be going to polls this year?

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 16, 2023

      This budget appears to be aimed more to please at the personal than the corporate level.

      Quite the opposite, so much pork and opportunity to siphon off funds for corporate “initiatives”. Some childcare to get poor mothers out to work while ladies who lunch continue to look after their own.

    2. Neil Sutherland
      March 16, 2023

      Local elections In May. Personal tax cuts next year before election. It’s all so tiresome.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        Latest Poll puts Tories 17 points behind the other Socialists.

        1. APL
          March 18, 2023

          Micky Taking: “… Tories 17 points behind the other Socialists.”

          Very droll. But accurate.

  19. agricola
    March 15, 2023

    Take energy. Sizeswell is ten years away. SMRs ars at least five years away. Windmills supply 3% to 40% of electrical energy but only when the wind blows. Nothing on the next 5-10 years energy needs. Criminal when we are sitting on gas oil and coal. Criminal when the costs are engineered to keep the current distribution setup operational. If there had been any interest in helping users, VAT and the Green Levy/Tax would have been removed. A budget failure.

  20. Bloke
    March 15, 2023

    The Budget was another complicated jumble for the sake of change involving little more than trial and error for adjustment later.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 16, 2023

      ‘error adjustment’? – please explain what the Tories have adjusted?

      1. Bloke
        March 16, 2023

        None so far: ‘Adjustment later’ refers to them eventually realising the folly of their new measures and then trying to correct them. The likelihood is they won’t have the sense or be in power.

        1. Mickey Taking
          March 16, 2023

          agreed.

  21. Richard1
    March 15, 2023

    They really must be confident that starmer’s manifest uselessness and humbug will be sufficient to carry the election. At best it’s anaemic growth under the Conservatives with the state expanding slightly slower than it might under Labour. My guess is Labour will win on a very low turnout. A last minute gimmick like 1p off the basic rate of income tax at the next budget will surely not be enough.

  22. Iain Moore
    March 15, 2023

    This budget is not going to lead you to victory in the next election, it is the dampest of damp squibs, in modern parlance ..’meh’.. What is there in it that will fire up any passion , any belief the government has any idea of where to take the country or ambition for us ? It is the Treasury orthodoxy of managed decline and extending the client state writ large.

    Take child care, to me the problem is, why is it so cripplingly expensive? Not, why not throw more money at it? Rather than deal with supply, what we seem to have is the state gold plating rules a regulations, making our child care the most expensive in Europe , because of that the state steps in to subsidise some child care, which as there is a limited supply probably adds to the cost, and as the government in this budget is intending to add more demand it means the situation will just worsen.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 16, 2023

      Why encourage more mothers out to work rather than looking aftger their own kids. They will inevitably mostly end up in low paid jobs where their neighbours get the same extra money so they all have relatively the same income as costs rise because there is more money available, costs rise, no one is any better off.

      If you are going to make decisions based on “relative” poverty all this waste of money will do is increase the point at which someone is relatively poor.

      Why 30 hours childcare for 15 hours work, we are now paying people to commute? How about making my train fares tax deductible?

  23. Narrow Shoulders
    March 15, 2023

    There was nothing in there for me. Plenty of pork for Business to siphon off without giving pay rises and tax rares frozen.

    Giving people 30 hours of childcare to work 16 hours seems odd and if everyone goes out to work 16 hours then no one’s standard of living improves, costs just rise commensuratley. That is what is happening now, if two parents don’t work then that family is poor.

    Leave one parent at home.

    1. a-tracy
      March 16, 2023

      They’re not going to give someone 30 hours childcare if they only work 16 hours surely?

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        March 17, 2023

        It’s 30 hours of childcare even if you stay at home. That is what is offered at present. Universal Credit just pays back what you pay additionally if you go to work, that is the only criteria for working.

        1. a-tracy
          March 18, 2023

          Gosh I didn’t know that NS.

  24. Christine
    March 16, 2023

    So high earners can put unlimited money into their pension fund with the ordinary taxpayer contributing huge amounts towards it, yet middle earners who can’t afford to do this are being dragged into paying higher rate tax as their allowances aren’t increased yet again. This is a budget for the super-rich at the expense of the poor. Shame on this government. We see you for what you are. Are we expected to drown our disappointment in a pint of cheap beer?

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 16, 2023

      and a little help with child-minding NEXT year for those who have to find work to survive.

      1. APL
        March 18, 2023

        Mickey Taking: “and a little help with child-minding NEXT year”

        So, a ‘jam tomorrow’ budget ?

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      March 16, 2023

      Public sector defined benefit scheme members can now have a pension pot that delivers 20x final earnings tax free. That particular loophole could have been closed.

      1. hefner
        March 17, 2023

        Say, assume I have been working in the public sector with a £5,000/month salary, £60,000 annual. You quote a pension pot delivering 20x final earnings tax free.
        Do I have to understand a pension pot that delivers £1.2 m tax-free (20 x £60k). Given that presently only a maximum of 25% can be taken tax-free your comment assumes that the total pension pot is £4.8 m. Which is hardly possible as I would have had to work for 80 years with either me or the state putting the equivalent of my entire £60k annual salary into such a pension pot.
        I am afraid you must have missed something somewhere.

      2. a-tracy
        March 18, 2023

        NS my understanding is defined benefit pots can be considerably greater than those amassed in the private sector under defined contribution schemes, defined contribution schemes are limited (up till recently) to £40,000 pa pension so if you work for 20 years the most you could have put in is £800,000 which is a large sum. However if you were working in the public sector your pot is calculated on what you draw so considerably more could be paid in pa than the £40,000 pa cap and that is just the way it works.

        So people who want to cash in within the public sector can do so, so if your benefit is 2/3 of your final salary after 35 years, but your pension is based on your salary if your salary was £150,000 you’d be on a £100,000 pa pension, so working on the premise that the pot equivalent to pay £100,000 pa you’d be looking at ‘a hypothetical pot’ of £2m! The two work completely differently to each other and that is why it is so unfair that’s why GP’s kick off because everyone else in the public sector that is hired by the public sector are allowed to get more. There are people in the Labour government that think only GPs like Judges should get the concession, I mean how unfair is that, they just want to protect their unionised funders pensions and sod everyone else.

    3. XY
      March 16, 2023

      Do you understand how it works? Clearly not.

      No-one is putting anything “towards it” as you put it. Pensions DEFER tax, they don’t avoid it. When people start taking money out of a pension, they pay tax on it as income, with the usual rates/bands/allowances applied.

      1. Christine
        March 18, 2023

        I know exactly how it works. Pay into a SIPP and the government adds the equivalent tax allowance which comes from the taxpayer. Leave the pension pot to your children and it bypasses inheritance tax and they either pay nothing or their own tax rate. The super-rich can now use this mechanism as an IHT tax dodge. They don’t need to draw and live off this pension.

        1. a-tracy
          March 18, 2023

          If you pay into a SIPP you get the tax YOU paid out of taxed earnings, public sector pensions are deducted BEFORE tax, independent of your employer, back. You only get your tax that is then deferred until you retire when you start paying tax again.

          Their children pay the tax when they draw it Christine? There is nothing tax free.

    4. agricola
      March 16, 2023

      Christine,
      Get real. The top 10% of earners in the UK pay 60% of all tax in the UK. The top 1% pay 41% of all tax in the UK. For instance my eldest son is seriously considering retirement at 55 because his pension pot is full. He is an engineer, less emotive than the large number of medical consultants we have, and we were about to lose, but a stupid political loss nevertheless.
      You are absolutely right about tax bands not being raised, politically less emotive in Westminster until 2024.
      It is not a budget for the super rich who have many mechanisms for avoiding tax. It is in fact a very negative budget that fails to set the kindling of entrepreneurial UK ablaze

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        the only group of people who will clap this budget are Doctors watching the sham Budget from the comfort of home, who are about to exceed £1m in their pension pot.
        They can now carry on being paid £100k+ pa and put £60k if they wish into the limitless pot.

        1. glen cullen
          March 16, 2023

          The elite fixing the system for the elite (the current average salary in the UK is £27,756) ….the plebs can only dream of a pension a tenth of that size

    5. a-tracy
      March 16, 2023

      Christine, you should go and look up high earners putting money in their pensions, like doctors, no one puts money in their pots, their pots are used to invest in businesses and other government needs. The reason they complain is the public sector don’t have a calculated pot as they get defined benefits that would need a bigger pension pot than £1m, when these people draw down their pension they pay tax on the money they draw down, when people earn £100,000 they lose their personal allowance which gives them a 62% tax rate (tax/ni) up to £120,000 and they don’t want to pay that much so they cut their hours or stop work altogether or move away from the uk and take their money with them. This then leaves the uk having to borrow foreign money.

  25. Javelin
    March 16, 2023

    You forgot to mention the 250,000 immigrants every year.

    But I don’t think you did forget.

    I think you are deeply ashamed.

    1. DOM
      March 16, 2023

      You mean 250k extra Labour voters and an issue that’s politically exploited by those who seek to create a world in which those who oppose are deemed ‘far right’ ie those who simply wish to express an opinion ie tens of millions of British citizens. This is the work of the Left and the Tories sit to one side rather than passing laws to prevent this Stalinist infection in our culture

      We all recall the Berlin Wall being termed an Anti-Fascist barrier by the most oppressive and sinister East German government. It is the smokes and mirrors politics decent people now have to tolerate.

      Where is the Tory party on the takeover of this nation by the forces of the authoritarian left?

      1. Michelle
        March 16, 2023

        ++++
        Where are the Conservatives indeed. It seems to me and many more that they are right in there with the forces of the authoritarian left.
        Is it a case of ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ or the Rudi Deutschke long marchers have eventually reached their end destination?
        Excellent book by former MP John Baker White called Pattern for Conquest covering the slow, sly, well organised take over via every institution. The book was published in 1956 and sadly it looks as if his warnings and heroic battle to save a nation he so desperately loved has come to nothing.

      2. agricola
        March 16, 2023

        DOM,
        Where is the Tory party? Give or take, about 100 are in the Commons. Large numbers are among the electorate but feeling disenfranchised with some moving towards Reform.
        First past the post is a poor reflection of the electorates desires. It also makes either of the two parties very vulnerable to take over. We saw it with a flood of Corbynista supporters hjjacking the Labour Party. We see a Conservative Party falling out of tune with Conservatives in the electorate. First by controlling from the centre who can be a Conservative candidate and second by ignoring its members in the hijacking of the leadership, resulting in consocialism. Those who now control are at the behest of the globalist, europhile establishment, which takes them a long way from those who voted leave. The 100 left in the Commons will have to make up their minds where they are going. The rest of us should take a close look at Reform. In answer to your question, they are with the authoritarian left.

      3. hefner
        March 17, 2023

        DOM, Again the ridiculous statement that these 250,000 foreign migrants are Labour voters.
        Being foreigners, they cannot vote. Even if they were to apply for British citizenship, it would take them a minimum of three years if they’d get married/civil partnership to a British citizen or of five years after they get their ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain).
        (gov.uk ‘Check if you can become a British citizen’).

  26. Donna
    March 16, 2023

    When you look at the inefficiencies, ever-rising cost and poor outcomes of the “care from cradle to the grave” Socialist NHS, (plus the attitude of many of its employees), I’m not convinced creating “care from the cradle to adulthood” State Education is a sensible policy.

    It would be far better to incentivise families to look after their babies and pre-school children, by giving a generous tax allowance for stay-at-home parents of children age 0-4. Or they could vary the rate of Child Maintenance paid so that it is staged: far higher in the child’s pre-school years and reduces when they enter school and again when they enter senior school.

    Socialised child rearing from cradle to adulthood means a generation of indoctrinated drones who think what they’ve been told to think.

  27. James Freeman
    March 16, 2023

    I welcome the so-called ‘tax cut for business investment’ (abolishing the factory tax). But unfortunately, it is not suitable for building a new factory, as it will take more than three years to get planning permission!

  28. agricola
    March 16, 2023

    On balance not very inspiring. Were I still in business I would relocate. My eldest son now has the opportunity to continue work after 55 due to the pension pot relaxation.My youngest can keep buying white vans against CGT providing he can find the skilled workers to man them.

    The cost of energy is the major inflation driver, it affects the price of almost everything and it has put the hospitality industry on the edge of collapse. Pubs are falling like flies. The mad drive for nett zero and the shunning of our own resources is crazy on financial grounds and politically insane on strategic grounds.

    I detect nothing to sort out the complexity of our 20,000 page tax book. Nothing to inspire people to improve their position in life. We are still burdoned with historical limits that ensure that inflation drags ever increasing numbers into higher tax bands. We still have IHT, Death Duties, and Stamp Duty putting a brake on wealth creation.

    Even more damning, not one word about curbing gavernment spending. No sign that this consocialist party understands that people can spend their own money much more effectively than government. All Hunt has achieved is to make the ground much easier for the more rabid end of his thinking, ie Labour ,to take over in 2024.

  29. XY
    March 16, 2023

    I don’t understand how abolishing the work capability assessment will help get people back into work.

    When it was introduced, iirc 70% of claimants at that time did not file a new claim.

    We stopped reading about “disabled” people refereeing football matches, so it seemed to work.

    There were a vast number of supposedly disabled claimants back then, with GPs simply signing off anyone who didn’t want to work – the WCA seemed to fix the problem, so… is this just another lefty policy change at work?

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 16, 2023

      Now they sign off for stress, mental health, and menopause.

  30. XY
    March 16, 2023

    Once again, the self-employed were left with the previous tax hits and nothing beneficial.

    But what do we expect of a party led by someone whose father-in-law founded a large consultancy? The self-employed are their competitors.

  31. Ian B
    March 16, 2023

    It would appear this Conservative Government is mirroring the John Lewis Partnership. They both have surrendered to the ‘Blob’ and both get to demonstrate a real failure to manage.

    JL customers have walked, the Conservative Party has done similar. How will this Conservative Government win the next election and by able implement all these card shuffling inspirations, when they have kicked their supporters in the teeth. Elections are won by boots on the ground getting out and thumping out the message – the Party in action. But, this Conservative Government while ignoring the need to keep their party with them, engage with them, has surrendered all control of the Country to the ‘Blob’.

    May be they think that just before the election they can make a few fine speeches to the Party and the will just forget they were excluded from choosing who’s Party it is in Government.

  32. Andrew S
    March 16, 2023

    The best I can hope for with this budget is that somehow it can recover things to keep labour and any coalition out of office after 2024 while a Brexit friendly administration and new leave supporting PM is installed.
    Then it needs action on lower taxes, productivity, lords reform, bbc licence ending, cancel the windsor deal and pass the NI bill.

  33. Ian B
    March 16, 2023

    Sir John

    Other than promoting growth and security in the ‘Blob’ (the Civil Service, the OBR, the BoE, collectively the Establishment). What has this crowd done for the real economy, those that pay the ‘Blob’s’ wages, those that fund their pensions.

    Moving the deck chairs around on a sinking ship is still just moving deck chairs.

    A serious resilient economy pays all the bills. Spending what isn’t there is just spending. The ‘Blob’ controls this Government for no other reason that they(the Government) refuse to even contemplate ‘managing’.

    ‘Its the economy – stupid’

    1. Ian B
      March 16, 2023

      @Ian B
      I would guess because the ‘Blob’ doesn’t understand the concept of a ‘balanced budget’ but do believe in building strong empires to protect themselves in case a proper government run by adults turns up.

  34. SimonR
    March 16, 2023

    It is probably due to the efforts of our host and others tirelessly lobbying the Government in favour of growth measures that this budget is merely a disappointment, rather than an outright disaster.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 16, 2023

      If you were reying on this Budget to get re-elected – then it is a disaster.

      1. glen cullen
        March 16, 2023

        What are to talking about ….I’ve no doubt that labour will be re-elected

      2. Mickey Taking
        March 16, 2023

        relying

  35. Bert Young
    March 16, 2023

    The blog doesn’t mention the increase of companies tax from 19% to 25% and the detrimental knock on effect . What incentive is there for companies to remain in this country ?. Wanting and encouraging people back into employment is one thing but the tax increase on these employers will cause them to make cuts wherever they can and to keep employment numbers down . The budget as it stands is a mistake . Every true Conservative voter must feel let down as I do .

  36. Peter Martin
    March 16, 2023

    Does anyone ever look back on previous OBR forecasts to check if they have been anywhere near correct?

    Mr Hunt might want to take a more sceptical approach himself. For example his speech yesterday contained this:

    “At the Autumn Statement I also announced that public sector net borrowing must be below 3% of GDP over the same period.

    The OBR confirm today that we are meeting that rule with a buffer of £39.2 bn.

    In fact our deficit falls in every single year of the forecast, with borrowing falling from 5.1% of GDP in 2023-24, to 3.2% in 2024-25, 2.8% in 2025-26, 2.2% in 2026-27 and 1.7% in 2027-28”

    Haven’t we heard all this kind of thing before? I seem to remember similar OBR claims about ending government borrowing over a 5 year period of a future Parliament. All at the same time as forecasting significant growth rates too!

    They won’t be right this time either. They’ll know we’ll have forgotten all about these nonsensical forecasts in a year or two, so they can effectively say what they like.

    Using the very simple principle of the sectoral balances we know the government’s net borrowing will always equal, to the penny, what everyone else wants to net save. How can anyone know what this will be?

  37. a-tracy
    March 18, 2023

    John, I don’t understand why your government makes such a big song and dance about paying public sector workers more than inflation when you ALWAYS cave in after much disruption to the public services and give pay back money too. When have you ever fought and won them. You guys capitulate to anyone that challenges you and it is us the consumer who pays, we have to pay for buses that don’t run for a month, medical care we can’t access, closed schools keeping their parents off work, missed check ups and appointments resulting in undiagnosed cancers for months on end.

    Why go through it, you know you’re going to give in? Tell me when have you ever not? Just pay the blimin junior doctors because you can’t pay nurses more after just 3 years study and 2 years out when they’ve spent 5 years studying to get to the same point. Stop prancing around you’re going to cave anyway. It suits government to cave because then your pay review body can give you all more and everyone else in the civil service. Now the passport requirement is stepping up they’re threatening to strike for 5 weeks, then it will be the DVLA. Privatise it and split it up into regional services competing against each other, give us a choice to take our money to the fastest provider because you lot can’t manage it.

    Reply They did not take my advice on how to settle the pay issues! As you will see from this site I did not support the governments initial stance. They did get round to an idea I and others floated of a one off adjustment payment for thec current year where there are obvious recruitment difficulties.

    1. a-tracy
      March 19, 2023

      Yes, I know you’re a minority in the party sadly. I did say your government (I didn’t mean you personally but you must be frustrated more than me to represent them as the poor negotiators they are). If Labour is in power they just cave immediately, fill them up with extra untaxed perks and benefits they don’t count after a year is out. Give them free consultations, massages, mental health help and they’re never happy – NEVER. The employees never count the in year grade increments as rises even though they are. Your government never spells out in cash terms how much the full sick pay perk is worth per annum, you can’t even buy that policy on the open market as an employer – it is so generous and uncosted as part of the wage. I bet they don’t count that in when comparing themselves to a Lidl worker.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    March 19, 2023

    This budget has been more than a little oversold. Much better than investment subsidies and allowances would be to reduce the rate of corporation tax to match that of the Republic of Ireland, and to let the whole world know that we aim to carry on matching the Republic’s rate, even if it is further reduced. If the USA, France and Germany don’t like it, then they will have to persuade the Republic to raise its rate.

    Why is the whole body politic obsessed with increasing female employment? The logical course of action is that if a woman’s take home pay exceeds the cost of child care, she can work. If not, she shouldn’t. I don’t see why taxpayers should be involved in such decisions at all.

    I think that the reason Governments throw so much money at childcare is to do with the way that GDP is measured. GDP estimation tends to increase with the volume of financial transactions, whether it should or not. If a woman cares for her own children, there are no financial transactions. If a woman works and granny does the childcare, the financial transactions are the woman’s salary and granny’s transport costs. If a woman works and childcare is provided on a commercial basis, there are three transactions – the woman’s salary, transport costs and the childcare charges. Small wonder that Governments, intent on showing how much they have grown the economy, favour the commercial basis. It is, however, all smoke and mirrors. Perhaps what we really need to do is to review the way in which GDP is measured.

    Speaking personally, as a mere male with four children, I think that tiny tots under the age of three should be looked after by their birth mother. There’s plenty of time for socialising and formal education later on.

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