My Question to the Chancellor on the Autumn Statement

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con):

 

I welcome the measures to promote more investment and more growth, which is vital. We have lost about 800,000 self-employed people since February 2020. The national insurance measure will help a bit, but will my right hon. Friend look again at the way in which IR35 prevents them from expanding their businesses and getting contracts? The measures to promote the growth of small businesses are also welcome, but the VAT threshold acts as a strong disincentive to expand a business when it reaches a certain point.

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor the Exchequer:

I thank my right hon. Friend. I had extensive discussions with him in the run-up to the statement, including many discussions about the self-employed. Indeed, it was partly his advocacy of the role of the self-employed that made me so enthusiastic about making the national insurance changes that I was able to make.

I hear what my right hon. Friend says about IR35. We took our decision partly because of concerns about avoidance, but I am happy to look at that again. As for the VAT threshold, many other colleagues have made the same point. We do have the highest threshold in any major European country, and, indeed, any G7 country, but there is always this issue of the cliff edge, and my right hon. Friend is right to draw my attention to it.

151 Comments

  1. Peter Gardner
    November 25, 2023

    The problem is the continuing gaze of Remainers like Hunt at ‘Europe’, the EU which is their benchmark for everything. Never mind that the EU is an empire in decline and wholly unworthy of such admiration. The British establishment is fixated on ‘Europe’ and seems quite unable to work through a national problem from first principles. It hardly thinks at all, merely emulating the EU – which is the intent behind the Sunak Framework.

    1. MFD
      November 25, 2023

      A lot of people have a fixation with Europe, they even waste thousands of pounds annually is search of a bit of sun, I cannot understand the love of a swimming pool and alcohol.
      However it does leave large parts of our beautiful countryside quite for people like me who would not part with a penny to the EU!
      Boycott them and Britain benifits!

      1. John Hatfield
        November 25, 2023

        Indeed MFD, Europe and its countries are not the political entity that calls itself the EU.

      2. IanT
        November 26, 2023

        Apart from the cost of the Ferry, there is much to be said for the Isle of Wight!

        I tell people we are “going overseas” but there are no airport delays, no roaming fees or currency exchange issues – and just an hour and bit to drive home afterwards. What more could you want? 🙂

    2. IanT
      November 25, 2023

      After 40 years, none of these people (including our Civil Service) have known anything else Peter.
      As every parent will know, babies like their ‘comforter’ (e.g. dummy) and it’s hard to take them away, even when baby starts to finally grow up! 🙂

    3. Ian B
      November 25, 2023

      @Peter Gardner – thats why they refuse to manage and refuse to leave the EU. As Cameron says in todays media ‘Britain needs closer ties to the EU’. A remain Parliment out to punish

  2. Christine
    November 25, 2023

    “I had extensive discussions with him in the run-up to the statement”

    But I chose to disregard his advice and continue down the road of destroying my party and the country.

    1. agricola
      November 25, 2023

      Simply and accurately put.
      +++++

      1. Hope
        November 25, 2023

        Hunt and cabinet clearly think mass immigration equals growth!! Idiots.

        1. glen cullen
          November 25, 2023

          Some civil servant told them that GDP was more important than our culture & soul

        2. Iain gill
          November 26, 2023

          The freelancer discussion forums now contain threats of suicide by British freelancers who have been displaced from the jobs market by cheaper work visa holders flooding in from abroad. This whole situation created by our ruling class. The contempt for the open door immigration policies, and anti freelancer policies, is massive. I don’t know where this ends, but it’s not good for the country.

    2. Ian+wrag
      November 25, 2023

      He discussed with John but ultimately took the advice of Klaus
      There is no way back for the tories at the next election. Farage is coming back into politics after the jungle and Reform are already polling above 10%.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 25, 2023

        Indeed.
        The alternative is Sir Keir Starmer a man who says Beethoven’s choral anthem ‘Ode to Joy’ sums up the Labour party. The Labour leader told Classic FM’s Moira Stuart that the finale to Beethoven’s great choral symphony sums up his party and invokes memories of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

        Not too bright politically Starmer but at least you are honest about your “return to the EU and s** the leavers agenda. It was quite a pleasant piece of music until the EU totally ruined it some 20 years back when they stole it to push their anti-democratic evil agenda that has harmed Europe so much.

      2. Hope
        November 25, 2023

        Cameron on BBC pushing for closer ties to EU!! Treacherous Snake and co determined not to deliver Brexit, not scrap EU laws or diverge from rules and regs. Still under ECJ, N.Ireland given away but ties GB to EU in every way with increased energy energy inter connectors.

        JR, when your govt deliberately acts against the nation wishes what do you expect the public to do.

        1. Peter Wood
          November 25, 2023

          No doubt with the approval of the PM, who doesn’t want to get his own hands (even) dirtier.
          It’s what your party does, Sir J, not what they say.. Wake-up and see the direction of travel.

    3. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      ‘I will continue to ignore your sound advice which reflects the massive majority of indigenous workers in the UK. My WEF friends and I will continue on this path of economic destruction’.

    4. Lifelogic
      November 25, 2023

      Exactly – to ignore JR very wise advice.

      Doubtless Jeremy Hunt thinks he has been very clever by delivering a tax increasing budget and yet getting many in MSM to present this as “tax cutting and pro growth” it is the reverse. Also to “give” a nearly 10% rise in minimum (and this other) wages as if it was his generosity. In fact this will be paid in Sunak’s debased by QE £1s so just keeping place with inflation also as 45% goes back in extra tax & NI this too is another tax increase and it is inflationary too.

      Inflation when Sunak became Chancellor 1.7% then up to 12%+ now down to 5.7% and yet he wants the credit for this?

      1. Lifelogic
        November 25, 2023

        This is a link to all the jobs where this government have decided to undercut your wages using low paid open door immigration. Also to augment religious, racial and cultural cleavages in society. If you work in any of these areas then perhaps write to your MP to thank them for the pay cuts or lack of real terms increases for circa 15 years. It covers a vast area of jobs all healthcare, long term care, engineering, science, construction, artists, agriculture… with wages as low as just 80% of £14,400. Very few will pay more tax in than they cost directly in housing, healthcare, schools, universities… and they can bring families with them too. Sounds like a great plan to reduce the tax take, incubate lack of integration problems, cause a lack of housing and other services and harm the economy and GDP in PPP terms.

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-shortage-occupations/skilled-worker-visa-shortage-occupations

        1. James Freeman
          November 25, 2023

          Many of these hourly rates are below the national minimum wage. Why is the government encouraging companies to pay these rates to exploit immigrants?

          Also, many implied salaries look suspiciously low – the entry rate for many occupations. Why aren’t we bringing in more experienced people?

    5. Ian B
      November 25, 2023

      @Christine +1

  3. Lemming
    November 25, 2023

    Seven years on from your referendum, and you are still obsessed with the EU. Always need someone to blame, eh, never take any responsibility – that’s Brexit!

    1. agricola
      November 25, 2023

      Lemming, you show a lack of grasp of reality. It is the remain cabal, largely in power at the time and still overwhelmingly at present who visibly hated the result and have fought tooth and nail to block and reverse the result ever since. Consequently we have NI only half in the Union, a mass of EU law still on our statute book, and illegals plus system gamers flooding over our borders by the hundred thousands. It is the anti democratic behaviour of remainers, largely consocialists, in power who are directly guilty. Reform are the only party representing the majority of the UK public against these malign powers.

      1. MFD
        November 25, 2023

        Well said! my thoughts entirely Agricola. They are the enemy within.

      2. Ian B
        November 25, 2023

        @agricola +1
        Until we are allowed to leave the EU it will stay the same. We have a lazy crowd of MPs in Parliament they refuse their job, and bow down to the unelected unaccountable overlords in the EU. The remain section do not like Democracy as it asks them to step up, they prefer the undemocratic rule of the EU were the people can’t complain as they are not allowed a voice.

      3. JoolsB
        November 25, 2023

        + 1 The so called Tories are finished. Long live Reform.

        1. glen cullen
          November 25, 2023

          Quite So

      4. Mickey Taking
        November 25, 2023

        Study visas 643,778 .!..this country has gone mad.

      5. glen cullen
        November 25, 2023

        Only in the UK and by consent of our government

    2. Roy Grainger
      November 25, 2023

      It is less than 3 years since we left the EU, it would seem odd if people had stopped talking about it. I agree with you that Remainers like Alistair Campbell blaming everything on leaving the EU is obsessive irrational behaviour though.

      1. IanT
        November 25, 2023

        Not to mention the ghastly Michael Hesletine, who gets dug-up by the Beeb & Sky whenever they want to rock the boat…

    3. Donna
      November 25, 2023

      With the likes of Meloni, Orban, Wilders and possibly Le Pen winning the popular vote, I’m quite surprised you think being in the EU is a good idea.

      It’s looking marginally more attractive to me with every national election the Globalists lose.

    4. Mike Wilson
      November 25, 2023

      @Lemming

      Peter Gardner wrote:

      The British establishment is fixated on ‘Europe’ and seems quite unable to work through a national problem from first principles.

      I think that is an accurate observation and, therefore, reasonable to point it out. It does not mean an ‘obsession with the EU’. It does mean that most of ‘the establishment’ are obsessed with the EU and have done everything they can to thwart Brexit.

  4. Everhopeful
    November 25, 2023

    I understand that this is a very trite question but it has always puzzled me.
    Why does a govt. think that swiping hard earned is ok….morally enforceable even…when it gives NOTHING in return?

    1. Ian B
      November 25, 2023

      @Everhopeful – it saves them having to manage, control expenditure and be accountable. Stealing from peoples wallets is so much easier

      1. Everhopeful
        November 25, 2023

        +++

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 25, 2023

      Because they can do it!
      But they have done so much that now they are bankrupting the people as well as the country.
      They will never recover from that.

      1. Everhopeful
        November 25, 2023

        +++

  5. Everhopeful
    November 25, 2023

    Still I expect there are plenty of small businesses set up to help small companies comply with the correct handing over of honestly earned money?
    Compliance…what a terrible concept.

  6. Sakara Gold
    November 25, 2023

    In excellent news for the North East, Nissan has announced a total £2bn investment to built 3 EV models at it’s Sunderland plant. The Japanese firm will build electric Qashqai and Juke models at the plant, alongside the next generation of the electric Leaf, which is already produced there.

    Nissan also announced plans to build yet another battery “gigafactory”, in addition to the one adjacent to the car plant – and a further gigafactory already being built here by its partner, AESC.

    The UK government has provided support for Nissan through the Automotive Transformation Fund, which received a £2bn top-up in Hunt’s Autumn Statement.

    1. Donna
      November 25, 2023

      Best we get fracking to supply the gas to run the power stations then, because the useless windmills certainly aren’t going to do it.

    2. MPC
      November 25, 2023

      Excellent news would have been that Nissan announces an extension to the size of the Sunderland plant to meet (unsubsidised) demand for its vehicles from non fleet buyers. Instead, government now not only subsidises old tech, unfit for purpose wind farms but also old tech, unfit for purpose electric cars. I predict redundancies at Sunderland in a few years time as sales of new EVs flatten and fall, EV insurance costs continue at high levels, and gigabattery plants fail to materialise as with ‘British Volt’.

      1. glen cullen
        November 25, 2023

        Spot On MPC

    3. MFD
      November 25, 2023

      But Goldi, that is only a temporary move as only a few mugs will buy them,
      When Reform UK drive out the fools who believe in the global con, we will return to OIL! 😁

      1. hefner
        November 26, 2023

        saturdayeveningpost.com 09/01/2017 ‘Get a horse! America’s skepticism towards the first automobiles’ (reprint of an item published on 08/02/1930 by A. Winton).
        Plus cela change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    4. formula57
      November 25, 2023

      So did Mr. Hunt really pay Nissan’s bill? Is that kind of thing sustainable?

    5. Lynn Atkinson
      November 25, 2023

      Let’s hope they can sell the cars in China – else we will be knee deep ….

    6. glen cullen
      November 25, 2023

      The UK is the only country left subsidizing the expansion of EVs ….while the rest of the world is realising that nobody wants to buy them
      A bit like HS2 this government will continue supporting and funding white elephants

      1. hefner
        November 25, 2023

        Really?
        19/05/2023 ‘We are going all in: how France raced ahead of UK on electric car batteries’, theguardian.com
        12/05/2023 ‘France to push European-made EVs with new subsidy requirements’, electrive.com
        30/05/2023 ‘France inaugurates first of four gigafactories in the north’, reuters.com

        France does not seem to have realised ‘that nobody wants to buy them’ and its emphasis on the ‘low (to medium) end’ of the EV market seems to continue.
        And it is not only France: For an EV up to €45k, the incentive is up to €7k in France, €6750 in Germany, €6k in Italy, €4.5-€7k in Spain, €5.5-€6k in Greece, etc … (acea.auto 05/07/2023 ‘Electric cars: tax benefits and purchase incentives (2023)’.

        In 2022 for new cars in France 37.21% were petrol, 15.64% were diesel, 21.56% EVs and 25.59% hybrids. And that in a country that is only 11th on the EV Readiness Index table with a EVRI of 27 (whereas China, Norway, USA, Netherlands are in front of the UK, at fifth place with EVRI of 47).

        So could it be that your ‘the UK is the only country left subsidising the expansion of EVs’ is simply … wrong?
        Or as usual with you could it be that you did not even try to check before writing your ‘sweet nothing’?

    7. A-tracy
      November 25, 2023

      The French government owns a 15 percent stake in Renault, which in turn holds a 43 percent stake in Nissan.
      https://www.politico.eu/article/france-japan-lay-out-details-of-nissan-renault-cooperation/

      It makes me wonder if Badenhock could take a similar British government stake in say a S Korean manuf who has to guarantee to make British vans in GB.

      So we give these French/Japanese owned and off shore profit companies UK funds what do we make out of the plant? How much do we make from the jobs and payroll taxes? Do they pay British vat? I hadn’t known this until Jerry brought it to my attention so I’m not sure how it works.

      1. hefner
        November 25, 2023

        This alliance Renault-Nissan started in 1999 so it is not a new development. It has included Mitsubishi from 2016. It is an alliance not a merger, each company keeps its own models but a non negligible R&D is shared and various bits (specially around the chassis) are common between models of the different brands.
        This type of alliance also existed within PSA (Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Vauxhall) now with Fiat-Chrysler under the name Stellantis or exists within the Volkswagen Group (with VW, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley and Porsche).

        It is assumed that each constituent in these alliances pays the relevant taxes in the countries where it has an active production plant.
        Maybe the SoS for Business and Trade could answer your questions. Or you might want to look at nissan.co.uk 13/03/2023 ‚’Nissan UK Tax Strategy’.

        1. A-tracy
          November 25, 2023

          Interesting thank you, I hadn’t realised the French owned so much of the vehicle manufacturing that we buy in the UK. They don’t really have much competition now.
          Vauxhall, Peugeot, Fiat, Citroen, half of Nissan, Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia, and a couple more I’ve not heard of.

    8. Lifelogic
      November 25, 2023

      More taxpayers money pissed down the drain on limited range, high road, tyre wearing & very expensive short rather lived EV cars that cause more CO2 not less.

    9. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      if it was that good we would not need to sweeten to the tune of £2bn.

      1. hefner
        November 25, 2023

        You object to £2 bn for Nissan, but I don’t remember you denouncing the £500 m given as support for Port Talbot and the other £500 m given to the same group to support its battery plant.
        telegraph.co.uk 02/09/2023 ‘Government in talks with Tata Steel to provide £500 mn funding package’.
        FT.com, 19/07/2023, ‘UK Government pays £500 mn in subsidies for Tata battery plant’.

        Or for that matter in the recent Autumn Statement the £10 bn to go to the ‘full expensing’ of UK businesses or the £280 mn per year ‘to simplify and improve R&D tax reliefs’ (gov.uk 24/11/2023 ‘Autumn Statement 2023’, Backing British Business.

    10. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      Now…what would we spend £2bn on given the choice?

  7. DOM
    November 25, 2023

    The self-employed make life difficult for Labour’s HMRC so the nauseating Oxbridge Socialist Tory club target the self-employed to reduce their numbers to appease Labour’s tax office vested interest. Like all of Labour’s unionised public sector and the parasitic QUANGO clique they seek less work for more rewards. The Tories pander to this anti-entrepreneurial strategy to smooth their own lives and careers.

    The Tories play Labour’s Socialist game to the detriment of this nation and they’re very clever when it comes to covering their sneaky tracks.

    I ignore Tory MPs who voice their opposition to Labour’s culture of parasitism, weaponisation of human identity and dependency. It’s action not words that count and there’s no action from the Tories and that is the evidence I need to conclude that the party in government is now beyond saving and utterly, utterly vile

    1. Hope
      November 25, 2023

      Oxbridge socialist club. Spot on.

      I would scrap PPE at Oxbridge it is a menace to our stable society and have security services look closely at foreign influence manipulation of student selection to influence top jobs.

      1. glen cullen
        November 25, 2023

        I’d actually thought that the PPE degree was made-up like the Golf degree !!! what they’re both real

  8. agricola
    November 25, 2023

    It is ironic that the Chancellor should be worried about a few Self Employed gaming the system while overlooking the multi nationals, happy to trade in the UK while blatant in avoiding tax in the UK by incorporating in tax havens or arranging their accounts so that little tax is paid in the UK. The latter ploy allowing them to compete advantageously with small High Street businesses. It is fair to ask whose side our Chancellor and this government are playing for.

    1. graham1946
      November 25, 2023

      Low hanging fruit (always the easy way out with politicians) and lack of courage. And of course WEF orders no doubt.

    2. Iain gill
      November 25, 2023

      It’s a concerted effort to replace individual freelancers operating locally, with imported cheap immigrant workers working for the outsourcers. In that they have taken the advice of the big Indian outsourcers at face value.

  9. Mark B
    November 25, 2023

    Good morning.

    I hear what my right hon. Friend says . . .

    But won’t do a thing about it. A political brush off.

    Thanks for trying, Sir John.

    1. formula57
      November 25, 2023

      @ Mark B – you overlook that Mr. Hunt said Sir John’s advocacy made him enthusiastic for the NI changes he did make.

      Mr. Hunt’s problem after his answer, that we note included the words ” …I had extensive discussions with him in the run-up to the statement…”, is that he is denied for eternity excusing his dereliction by saying “I did not know, I did not realize”.

  10. Donna
    November 25, 2023

    “I had extensive discussions with him in the run-up to the statement” …. but my Right Honourable friend knows full well that this is no longer a Conservative Party except in name, so the chances of me promoting any of the policies he suggests are very low.

    And the Treasury Mandarins just say NO anyway, so that’s the end of that.

  11. Sakara Gold
    November 25, 2023

    Once again, the right-wing press is demanding that Western nations such as Germany, the USA and the UK put pressure on President Zelenskyii to negotiate terms with the war criminal Putin.

    This call, attributed to “anonymous” sources in the German government (and reported in Bild and the Telegraph) is being orchestrated by the MAGA faction of the American Republican party. It attempts to exploit alleged “differences” between Chancellor Scholtz and his Defence Minister Pistorious over the prosecution of the war and the prolonged debt ceiling negotiations in the American House of Representatives.

    Those treacherous armchair generals calling for a Ukraine capitulation should remember that thousands of Ukraine servicemen and women have given their lives in the cause of freedom and have held the Russian hordes back from Europe.

    Fortunately, Ukraine’s Western allies declared their commitment to continue the development of Ukrainian air defense capabilities during the 17th Ramstein Group virtual meeting on November 22. Germany should go further and supply Ukraine with the long range bunker-busting TAURUS cruise missile, placing no restrictions on it’s use.

    NATO must continue to support Ukraine until the Russian invaders are defeated and driven from their lands. Putin’s strategy is clear, he hopes to delay matters in the belief that Mr Trump will prevail in the forthcoming American presidential election. We must provide the Ukraine with whatever it needs to defeat Putin

    1. MFD
      November 25, 2023

      Your a war monger Goldi, Britain should stop wasting money on Ukraine, the lefties will never appreciate anyway.

      1. Mickey Taking
        November 25, 2023

        After Finland decided to close all but one of the checkpoints on the border with Russia, Norway announced its readiness to stop the operation of the only checkpoint on the border with Russia.

        I wonder why?

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 25, 2023

          Stupid? The ex-Finnish PM now has a job with Blair Foundation having been sacked by the Finns for putting them in mortal danger (NATO nuks on their border)

          1. Mickey Taking
            November 26, 2023

            So in the Court of World commonsense – why would a country be in mortal danger by closing borders? I think you’ll find some EU countries are seriously planning to do just that!
            Locating nuks as you put it near a border is totally pointless, I think they can be fired from quite a distance away, without the ease of destruction by anyone opposed.

    2. formula57
      November 25, 2023

      @ Sakhara Gold – your words are not persusive although your keenness to have Ukraine bear sacrifice is clear.

      NATO does not “have” to do very much at all. In any event, this Putin war is a worry for those who induced it, chiefly America and Germany (the E.U.). The U.K. is very much better off keeping away from their further manoeuvres.

    3. Bryan Harris
      November 25, 2023

      We should also remember that it was the USA that started this war – they inserted their puppet president and supported him in waging war on the Russian descendants in Ukraine – The ACTUAL reason why Russia invaded!

      If the West was truly interested in peace they would have forced Zelenskyii into negotiations a long time ago, but it’s a convenient war for the USA and NATO, as well as all the Luvvies looking for a Russian spring!

      1. XY
        November 25, 2023

        Have you been reading russian troll stuff?

        Russia installed their puppet who was ousted when he refused to implement the will of the people by refusing to sign the EU accession documentation.

        Russia has been interfering in other countries forever. Their choices are none of russia’s business.

        “The waging war on russian descendents” is also pure propaganda. Supposedly it was russian speaking people – a language they have tried to enforce. On that basis, English speaking countries could invade pretty much anywhere they like.

        It’s pure propaganda with very weak logic behind it.

        1. Hat man
          November 26, 2023

          Writing russian with a small letter is a real give-away, XY. You’re the propaganda victim, I’m afraid. The fact you’re ignoring is that the Ukrainian president you’re referring to, Viktor Yanukyovich, was democratically elected in 2010 (Encycl. Britannica), by the same sort of majority as Leave won the Brexit referendum. He was not ‘installed’ as Putin’s puppet. To alleviate his country’s dire economic situation after decades of corruption and exploitation by oligarchs, he tried for an association with the EU. Not ‘accession’ to the EU as you claim. But the EU posed tough conditions, e.g. a big increase in taxes, and it wanted Ukraine to minimize its traditional economic ties with its neighbour Russia. That would have allowed in the EU kleptocrat businesses to profiteer from Ukraine as they had recently done in Greece. When Yanukyovich turned instead to Putin for financial assistance, he was overthrown in the 2014 coup d’etat. We in this country have good reason to keep the EU at arm’s length, Ukraine too.

          1. Bryan Harris
            November 26, 2023

            Well said HatMan

        2. Bryan Harris
          November 26, 2023

          XY – your imagination is wild

      2. paul cuthbertson
        November 26, 2023

        Bryan Harris – Zelensky is also a Deep State puppet. First item on the agenda for Globalist puppet Cameron is to rush off too Ukraine to ensure the “assets” are protected.
        Second item on the agenda, push the EU narerative as instructed. Remembewr he is of the HoL and cannot be questioined by the HoC not that anyone in the HoC would question him anyway.

        1. Bryan Harris
          November 26, 2023

          Indeed

          How much more debt will this ware cost us?

    4. Bill B.
      November 25, 2023

      Dream on.

    5. Hat man
      November 25, 2023

      The Bild Zeitung web site is reporting that Chancellor Scholz and President Biden want to bring the Russia-Ukraine war to an end. I think that is a very good idea. I don’t care if they want this for their own domestic political reasons, as long as the pointless slaughter stops. Ukraine can survive this war and prosper with Western help given to it as a peacetime economy with a future, rather than a country snared in a relentless killing machine as now. Its resilience so far against very heavy odds should mean that it can still negotiate from a position of some strength. Continuing the war of attrition only weakens it and lets Russia get stronger. Russia’s main condition will be that postwar Ukraine never joins NATO. I don’t have a problem with that and I don’t see why any other British people should. We have far more urgent concerns in this country as it is.

    6. Hat man
      November 25, 2023

      Sorry SG, but your narrative with Putin as the bogeyman wanting to roll over Europe with his army doesn’t cut much ice any more. Kiev’s chief negotiator at the Istanbul negotiations in March 2022 has been on Ukrainian TV today saying the Russians would’ve accepted Ukrainian neutrality as a condition for ending the war. He’s the head of Zelensky’s own political party and certainly not pro-Russian. I think I believe him.

  12. David Andrews
    November 25, 2023

    I understand that the CGT allowance is to be halved again to only £3000 from April 2024. Mr Hunt failed to mention this but, apparently it is buried in the small print published by HMRC. What other sneaky measures are lurking in the small print?

    1. David Andrews
      November 25, 2023

      I now discover it was announced at the time the reduction to £6000 was announced, so it it is not a new announcement.

    2. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      He beat Starmer to it.

  13. Berkshire Alan
    November 25, 2023

    Thanks for trying John, shame you are outnumbered by those who think the opposite, and have less of a grasp of the situation.

  14. Charles Breese
    November 25, 2023

    I had the following comment yesterday from a respected fund manager specialising in emerging markets:

    “You’ll know that I’ve spent 30 years investing in Emerging Markets (and the US), and the UK was a (some would say noisy and unhelpful!) sideshow that didn’t interfere with my activities whilst at [well known fund manager].

    Nevertheless, our involvement in the UK today is relatively marginal.

    There are a whole heap of reasons for this, but top four would be;

    The UK accounts for less than 3% of global GDP;
    Government policy disincentivises a culture of public equity – the average UK pension fund, for instance, allocates 75% when I started my career in the early 1990s;
    Government policy, by virtue of its significant volatility, deters serious long-term investment;
    An incredible ignorance in this country as to the state of play in China with respect to innovation and advanced technology”

    Meanwhile the UK’s political parties and the City fiddle while the UK burns!

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      why would we be surprised?

    2. Mike Wilson
      November 25, 2023

      the average UK pension fund, for instance, allocates 75% when I started my career in the early 1990s;

      ? What does that mean? Allocates 75% of what? In what? What’s different now?

  15. The PrangWizard
    November 25, 2023

    “I heard what you said many times but decided to pay no attention to anything that would make any difference to the basic problem”. Hunt.

  16. Denis Cooper
    November 25, 2023

    Pretty much off topic, I have sent the following letter to our local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    “It is now six years, almost to the day, since the Irish government threatened to veto talks on a post-Brexit trade deal unless we committed to remain under swathes of EU laws forever.

    The correct reaction from the UK government would have been to call their bluff by saying that we would no longer seek any special trade deal, but would leave the EU on WTO terms.

    However perceptions were coloured by the exaggerated “Project Fear” predictions of economic catastrophe if we did that, as promulgated by George Osborne and David Cameron.

    So instead then Prime Minister Theresa May chose to use the Irish intransigence over the land border as a pretext to keep the whole of the UK under the economic thumb of the EU.

    When her plan to turn the UK into a vassal state failed we got the Great Charlatan Boris Johnson as her successor, and he was happy to turn just Northern Ireland into a vassal statelet.

    And that is how it remains to this day, with the most recent staunch “Conservative and Unionist” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak endorsing this slow motion disintegration of the UK.

    After all of which Theresa May is still in Parliament as an elected MP, while David Cameron has returned as an unelected legislator-for-life fronting our relations with the EU.

    I have not yet decided how, or if, I am going to vote in the forthcoming general election, but I have definitely ruled out voting for any Tory candidate at that or any future election.”

    1. XY
      November 25, 2023

      Vote for something you want (obviously that won’t be any socialist party, red, green or yellow striped).

      Sitting at home does nobody any good.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 26, 2023

        I may vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate to help them get Theresa May out.

        Reply Everything you dislike about the Conservatives you will get in treble quantities from Lib Dem’s

        1. Mickey Taking
          November 26, 2023

          reply to reply …..I expect that to be true!

          1. Hope
            November 26, 2023

            MT,
            JRs party very content to be in govt with them. They introduced tax cuts to low paid not Tories. Cameron appointed former Labour ministers as advisors including Odonis rather than have current or former Tories!

        2. Denis Cooper
          November 26, 2023

          I would be voting in this constituency to get the incumbent Tory disgrace out.

          Reply To put a worse government in office

          1. Denis Cooper
            November 26, 2023

            When she resigned as PM she should have also resigned as MP.

            “So instead then Prime Minister Theresa May chose to use the Irish intransigence over the land border as a pretext to keep the whole of the UK under the economic thumb of the EU.

            When her plan to turn the UK into a vassal state failed we got the Great Charlatan Boris Johnson as her successor, and he was happy to turn just Northern Ireland into a vassal statelet.”

            Between the two of them they have broken up our country.

          2. Hope
            November 26, 2023

            JR,
            Your party chose to be in govt with them!!

  17. Jude
    November 25, 2023

    Well done for trying & achieving an agreement from the Chancellor (in name only!). To relook at these key points that would help the growth in small business & our economy. But doubt any of us will hold our breathe!

  18. Mickey Taking
    November 25, 2023

    A reality check:
    It is unlikely a Labour government will be able to meet its ambition to spend £28bn a year on green initiatives, a source close to Sir Keir Starmer has told the BBC. Labour announced the flagship policy at its annual conference in 2021.
    But in June shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves watered the pledge down, saying the figure would not be reached until 2027. Now, it is understood the figure will probably not be reached at all.
    A senior source in the Labour leader’s office said that was because of the state of the public finances. They stressed that Labour’s fiscal rules were more important than any policy.
    The Conservatives have previously warned of the alleged dangers of the policy – claiming extra borrowing could increase interest rates and mortgage costs.

  19. Nigl
    November 25, 2023

    ‘Would the Chancellor stop lying to us when he talks about large tax cuts when fiscal drag means large increases so taking an extra 40/45 billion having given away 15. Will he stop taking the electorate for fools?

  20. graham1946
    November 25, 2023

    Always a comparison with other countries (has he secretly agreed that the UK will not compete with his foreign friends)? If the problem is here it needs solving here, not abroad. It seems this government has no concern either for the prosperity of this country at large and especially has no regard for it’s people. ‘You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart I say. Begone and let us have done with you’ – Cromwell.

  21. RDM
    November 25, 2023

    John,
    Can you pass on how pleased I’m, he is looking again the two issues; IR35 contract blocking, and VAT theshold.

    If he wishes to ensure Contractor’s make a Fair contribution; I would be happy to relay on his judgement, especially if he simplied the Tax system (Fixed rate, or flat rate). But, please be ware; Accountants are always going to want to be in a strong position, it’s all about market power! I have clashed with many; they simply won’t represent the company’s best interest!

    Best Reguards,

    RDM.

  22. Ian B
    November 25, 2023

    “David Cameron says Britain needs closer ties with EU” Why? I suppose that it means this/his Government can keep up with the lazy option of refusal to manage

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      well the EU badly needs us to hand over money, and be a useful scapegoat.

    2. glen cullen
      November 25, 2023

      To make the transition easier

    3. Donna
      November 26, 2023

      No, it means the Establishment is preparing for us to become an Associate Member when the Ukraine War is over and the new, tiered EU structure is created.

  23. Ian B
    November 25, 2023

    Surely that is just the usual lip service we can expect from our 2 Chancellors they have no intention of acting on anything this side of the election.
    The UK State keeps growing, all under this Conservative Governments control. Our 2 Chancellors keep spending our money with out consideration of a return. Our 2 Chancellors keep borrowing at our expense.
    Where is the cost control? Tax increases at an all-time record and are set to grow even more in the coming months/years, but there is no inclination for the Conservative Government to control ‘their’ (mostly self-gratification) expenditure/spending. Just increasing Taxes, is not managing.

  24. oldwulf
    November 25, 2023

    The VAT threshold has remained at £85,000 since 1 April 2017.
    This Chancellor is very fond of fiscal drag.

    1. glen cullen
      November 25, 2023

      He’s also found of retaining EU laws and tax policy

  25. Bryan Harris
    November 25, 2023

    The Chancellor clearly didn’t understand all of the lessons given, or he would have done much more to help us all.

    What nobody can accept, that has even a basic understanding of economics, is the failure of HMG to follow Thatcherite principles, which demonstrated most clearly the path a Tory government should take. Instead they do the opposite and it is the people who pay the price of a tory government gone bad.

    If this is the best give-away budget before the GE we can expect to see, the surely the Tories will never be in office again.

  26. formula57
    November 25, 2023

    So Mr. Hunt reveals “…about IR35. We took our decision partly because of concerns about avoidance,..” – as if some self-employed contractors pushing the boundaries of allowable expenses could come near the huge figures for fraud on the Covid loans extended by the now prime minister. Does Mr. Hunt not appreciate the overriding need to boost economic activity?

  27. Lynn Atkinson
    November 25, 2023

    ‘There is the issue of the cliff’ all right – the Tory Party is well over it!
    Who cares what our thresholds are in comparison with the EU? And to rub salt into the wound, Cameron (whose wife went to a black tie and tiaras dinner at Buckingham Palace in a tea dress – the short of thing you would expect from Cherie Blair) ‘wants closer ties with the EU.
    This is already a ‘Tories Out’ election.

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      Every day seems to confirm that.

    2. Hope
      November 25, 2023

      I did not understand what cliff edge he was referring to. Please explain.

    3. formula57
      November 25, 2023

      “…wife went to a black tie and tiaras dinner at Buckingham Palace in a tea dress..” – and who can deny this would have seen a Ministerial resignation back in the days when we still had standards!

      1. Mickey Taking
        November 25, 2023

        ‘tea dress’? you’ll have to educate me, is it indecent? I’ve heard of a little black dress – but TEA !!

        1. Hope
          November 26, 2023

          To promote her fashion brand! Think Greensill. They have no standards.

  28. Lynn Atkinson
    November 25, 2023

    I have a number of small businesses in my small shops.
    What is the point of the Chancellor ‘giving the low paid a massive increase’ by raising the minimum wage if at the same time he puts their employers out of business? He increased the cost for small businesses who employ people (ie the successful ones) on all fronts:
    1. Increased employment costs.
    2. Increased energy costs + 20% VAT on same: corporations pay 0% VAT; domestic users pay 5%; small businesses PAYS 20%!
    3. 10% reduction of income (by inflations – they can’t raise prices or they will be out of business)
    4. 10% increase in stock; rent; business rates; etc etc etc

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      and carpark charges deter footfall!

    2. Mike Wilson
      November 25, 2023

      10% increase in stock; rent

      Sounds like you’re doing okay.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 25, 2023

        Quite a lot of rent-free periods going on. Moreover rents halved during the Johnson Shut-down aka lockdowns.

  29. Bert+Young
    November 25, 2023

    It is obvious that Hunt/Sunak knew that Sir John would want to influence the way the Budget was oriented – hence the admitted discussions , however , the result did not show the necessary ingredients that have been highlighted by Sir John in his previous posts ; had this occured I certainly would have been more optimistic about a Conservative about turn . The wrong team are definitely steering the country to “change” – is it time for a Farage Reform ?.

  30. Lynn Atkinson
    November 25, 2023

    I have a number of small businesses in my small shops.
    What is the point of the Chancellor ‘giving the low paid a massive increase’ by raising the minimum wage if at the same time he puts their employers out of business? He increased the cost for small businesses who employ people (ie the successful ones) on all fronts:
    1. Increased employment costs.
    2. Increased energy costs + 20% VAT on same: corporations pay 0% VAT; domestic users pay 5%; small businesses PAYS 20%!
    3. 10% reduction of income (by inflations – they can’t raise prices or they will be out of business)
    4. 10% increase in stock; rent; business rates; etc etc etc
    5. No relief on Employers NI
    Etc etc etc

    1. XY
      November 25, 2023

      That’s what the socialists don’t understand – everything has a cost and a profit level, so when you increase costs to the point where the costs + profit means no-one will buy the goods/services… people go out of business.

      The value of low skilled labour is determnined by what people will pay for the goods, less the profit the seller needs to make to survice.

      When govt sets minimum wages, the govt is not paying it – they are forcing business to pay it whether their business model can stand the increase or not. Just more socialism pandering to the masses.

  31. MWB
    November 25, 2023

    “We have lost about 800,000 self-employed people since February 2020”
    But you have imported 1.3 million newcomers, so surely they are all creating businesses and wealth, or is it time to start deportations ? Don’t you like the word deportations ? Chancellor Scholz is reportedly considering doing just that.

  32. Ed M
    November 25, 2023

    Taking a pause from social media but just to say I think John Wood is a good guy (especially on Energy and Transport) but is (probably) being influenced to a degree from some of the goons in The Tory Party. If we want to make our country great again (including greatly reducing tax), we have to:

    1) Focus on creating the UK as the Second Silicon Valley (why not the first?). Amazing, high skilled and paid jobs and exporting high quality brands abroad – brands that people enjoy being part of.
    2) Bringing down immigration fast – so that UK becomes like a metaphorical fortress only allowing in people we really need with proper skills.
    3) And part of 2 is to instil traditional Conservative cultural values into our country by building up stronger ties with churches, media, educators and those in the arts. And in particular values such as Work Ethic, Family Values (and depending on family not state in hard times), Responsibility towards neighbours and people in general and Patriotism. Then far less pressure to let in immigrants whilst also getting people back into work – and higher skills overall, with less strain on the NHS as people look after, better, their physical and psychological health / well-being.
    4) Once we’ve built up our economy then be easier to deal with Brexit.
    5) Develop a fortress-like defensive system, with other countries, to protect ourselves from dangerous weapons from rogue states around the world.
    6) We have to become far more self-sufficient in energy instead of relying on unstable regimes / rogue governments abroad for our energy.
    7) Attracting higher quality MPs into Tory Party with proper business experience. Not easy. But we have to try!

    1. Ed M
      November 25, 2023

      (I think … happy to be challenged / corrected – but I think we need more creative-thinking / provocative-thinking in the Tory Party about how to improve our party and country overall otherwise, it’s going to be same-old, same-old)

  33. a-tracy
    November 25, 2023

    I have self-employed friends and family but what I don’t understand John is what exactly the PAYE worker is getting for their extra 2% NI contribution (you tell us it isn’t linked to the State pension any longer), and what does that PAYE worker get for their employers’ 13.8% contribution (which continues over the higher tax threshold and over retirement age? Why don’t you push for PAYE workers to have equal footing – their employer has to cost in their holidays and sick pay to each job just as the self-employed worker has to cost into their quotes.

  34. John McDonald
    November 25, 2023

    IR35 – Mr Blairs envy of the earnings of Contractors in the 1980’s and 1990’s IT industry.
    The avoidance was of National Health Insurance rather than avoiding tax on earnings albeit you could work not under PAYEE but as a Director of a single person Limited Company.
    You could not avoid Corporation Tax or Tax on Dividend Income.
    A simple fix would have been that a Person carrying out work for the company had to be registered for PAYE and wages a minimum % of company profit.
    IR35 did force a number of such contractors to work for agencies in Europe where the Tax for the first 10 years of such employment was just 10%
    So the UK lost out. Better to have 20% of earnings than none at all.

  35. a-tracy
    November 25, 2023

    On VAT there is no way the G7 and Europe will let the UK become more competitive with an increased threshold, in fact I bet discussions are a foot with Labour to reduce it further in line with Europe. There is only Ireland they make concessions to it seems, oh and the opt out on all sorts the French get. But then again Europe does have zero vat on schooling or is that due to change too and thats why we have to align?

  36. Lynn Atkinson
    November 25, 2023

    One of the problems is the massive number of people claiming disability allowances, and their associated careers, who are taken out of the Production Pool. Have a look at this for an explanation:

    ‘Ed Dowd (ex-Blackrock) is back with some especially horrifying data; his results indicate that from late 2021 a novel phenomenon leading to increased malignant neoplasm deaths in the UK is present in individuals aged 15 to 44.

    The study’s results in the rate of cancer deaths above the historic norm in 2022 for ages 15-44 in the UK are:

    · A 28% rise in fatal breast cancer rates in women.
    · An 80% increase in pancreatic cancer deaths among women and a 60% increase among men.
    · A 55% increase among men in colon cancer deaths and a 41% increase in women.
    · A 120% increase in fatal melanomas among men and a 35% increase in women.
    · A 35% increase in brain cancer deaths among men and a 12% rise in women.
    · A 60% increase in cancer death rates among men in cancers “without site specification” and a 55% increase among women.

    Yet another aspect of The Johnson Curse!

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      Deaths due to lack of referrals by GPs going back several years now?

  37. The Prangwizard
    November 25, 2023

    Our Mr Redwood likes the promotion of growth and inward investment.

    No doubt he supports the possible sale of the Telegraph and Spectator to Abu Dhabi money.

    If he doesn’t he will not dare to oppose it outright, he will come up with some form of financial convoluted appeasement, pretending he opposes but allowing it through.

    Reply I prefer to cut the balance of trade deficit. I do not usually comment On a private owner selling an asset to a new owner

    1. The Prangwizard
      November 25, 2023

      Reply to reply:

      A shameful copout excuse on a matter of public national interest. Just what will you steer clear of commenting on to protect yourself, to avoid risk?

    2. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      Doesn’t the media ownership bother you Sir John?. Bad enough with Murdoch.

    3. XY
      November 25, 2023

      It concerns me too. Skewing the news we receive is the modern way of shaping opinion.

      The gullible don’t get news any more, they get propaganda. Our politicians need to address this, it’s not just a matter of “Oh it’s a private sale, nothing to see here”.

      The Russians have been waging what they call hybrid war for decades. We must start fighting back or lose – it will need legislation and regulation to do that.

  38. agricola
    November 25, 2023

    I find it strange that our PM first insults his MPs by effectively telling them that none are capable of fulfilling the role of Foreign Secretary. He then by the early actions and announcements of the FS tells the potential Conservative voting electorate that their thinking is passe and that woke is back on the table.
    I can only imagine that among our electorate suffering severe financial pressure that the FS’s new found generocity in splashing out on yet more overseas aid goes down like a lead balloon.
    FS D Cameron was and is an arch remainer. One I might add with questionable judgement. In fear of the success of the Brexit Party he called the 2016 referendom, only to find the fear well founded when he lost and departed. He is now back, socially promoted, and calling for a close working relationship with our one time masters the EU. This will go down with the electorate, specifically the Conservative electorate, like a kipper attached to the exhaust manifold.
    I judge it to be final confirmation that the majority of incumbents led by Rishi are consocialist remainers at heart and have no real sympathy for a sovereign United Kingdom.
    It is time for those 50 or so real Conservatives in the house to realise that the conservative party , so called, is beyond redemption and their departure to a real Conservative Party, I suggest Reform, would enhance the chances of Conservatism surviving. Conservatism is a philosophy not an itinerant collection of disparate MPs sitting opposite an equally ragtag number of similar views. Time to act in a more effective way than a letter to the chairman of the 1922 committee.

  39. Bryan Harris
    November 25, 2023

    This may be of interest to many as it backs up the idea that the civil service is actively working against ministers and government policy – A letter from a civil servant

    https://www.news-picks.online/post/why-my-civil-service-colleagues-are-celebrating-the-rwanda-ruling-the-telegraph-15-11-23?utm_campaign=5e66e59f-2755-4f58-b8aa-4eb56f8b147a&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail&cid=c03aa960-de11-4aaf-8fc5-b530fc6cd2f9

  40. Keith from Leeds
    November 25, 2023

    So the Chancellor talked to you but obviously did not listen. No one will believe promises in a conservative manifesto unless they see action first. The Chancellor missed a big opportunity to say that frozen allowances would be axed starting next April. He did not do anything about allowing tourists to reclaim VAT so he does not listen to the business community either. There is no movement to reduce VAT on energy bills, and the frozen tax allowances will swallow up the 2% cut in N.I. for employees.
    A Chancellor and PM with no vision.

  41. Keith from Leeds
    November 25, 2023

    In my previous comment, I forgot to say that there is no real action to cut government spending seriously. Twenty years of Government overspending and the PM, Chancellor and a majority of our MPs are asleep.

  42. agricola
    November 25, 2023

    Bryan,
    Your attached article suggests to me that immigration and all aspects of it must be removed entirely from Home Office control or involvement.
    It suggests a HO out of control, and the rest of the London based civil service not far behind it. We need a whole new way of supplying professional assistance to those we elect.

    1. Bryan Harris
      November 26, 2023

      Agreed Agricola

  43. Mike Wilson
    November 25, 2023

    Was there even the slightest mention whatsoever of reducing or controlling spending in the Autumn Statement?

  44. Mike Wilson
    November 25, 2023

    This web site is an awful dose of daily depression. Almost without exception the only people that go into politics are middle or upper class. They are generally useless at managing the state apparatus and the economy so they rely on endlessly increasing the population to try to achieve growth – and get more tax to find their inability to run a thing effectively. They, those politicians, live in a world detached from the realities of struggling to make a living and put a roof over their heads. They are abetted in their world view and detachment from reality by a largely left wing, ‘luvvie’ media – particularly the BBC. The issue bath e heart of everything is immigration. The politicians encourage it. The people (apart from recent immigrants who want to bring their families here) don’t want it. In Holland and Ireland people are finally finding their voice and getting angry. Sadly, in this country, people will act by getting rid of the Tories and bringing in someone even worse. As I said, all vey depressing.

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2023

      Priviledged or thickos – take your pick.

  45. Denis Cooper
    November 25, 2023

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/people-cant-believe-what-were-28123978

    “People can’t believe what we were forced to do because of Brexit – it’s ridiculous”

    I’m sick of hearing this constant “because of Brexit” rubbish when in reality it is “because of the EU”, but you will never hear a word of criticism of the “ridiculous” behaviour of the EU from anybody in this government.

    1. James4
      November 25, 2023

      Ah you’re on the outside now Denis – government is trying to manoeuvre so that you can at least see in.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 26, 2023

        No idea what that means, but never mind.

        1. Mickey Taking
          November 26, 2023

          me neither!

  46. XY
    November 25, 2023

    The comments on us having the highest VAT threshold of any European/G7 country suggest that they won’t be raising it to £250k. Quite the reverse. Some form of tapered system starting very low has been mooted but that’s silly – it sets a lower threshold and a bunch of levels of income to be avoided. And it makes goods and services less affordable.

  47. XY
    November 25, 2023

    Re IR35. The comment “we were concerned about avoidance” shows that Hunt missed the point entirely.

    If a tax shouldn’t be levied then there’s nothing to avoid!

    Why should self-employed under Sch D pay less tax than self-employed who are forced into a Ltd Co structure – and then forced by IR35 into paying all remuneration via PAYE, which means (more than) double NI?

    More than double because Employers NI is higher and it applies in full throughout one’s earnings.

    And no, the answer is not that Sch D should pay more, they don’t pay Employers NI for good reason. It’s that the Ltd Co route should pay the Sch D level. Trying to artifically reclassify them as “deemed employees” is pure chicanery, driven by the big consultancies.

    Get rid of Employers NI, or raise the threshold to a very high level such as £250k. That levels the playing field among the self-employed and helps small businesses to grow.

  48. Geoffrey Berg
    November 26, 2023

    The Chancellor said in his response he is concerned about the V.A.T. cliff edge. Please tell him the way to deal with that and get small concerns to grow without it being counter-productive due to V.A.T. is to exempt the first £10,000 per year of V.A.T. liability from being payable (just like the first £12,500 or so of Income Tax liability is not payable unless one gets over £100,000 per year in income in which case it is tapered to prevent a complete cliff edge there).

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