Who would want to be Chancellor when the UK tax burden is already too high, and the stagnant domestic economy provides relatively little room for manoeuvre?
Nevertheless, Mr Hunt has benefited from his ‘tough love’ Autumn Statement, at which point he baked in a substantial increase in the Treasury’s future tax take. Those increases alone are projected to raise an additional £55 billion per annum by 2027/28.
The justification at the time was that a tough approach was needed to restore the UK’s credibility in the wake of the calamitous Truss/Kwarteng mini budget.
The relatively modest improvement in the outlook for the UK economy (from the perspective of the OBR’s revised forecast) meant that there was some money to give away; but still less than would normally be available to a UK Chancellor at budget time.
In the circumstances, although it might not be to everyone’s taste, this was a skilful budget. Most of the new policy seems to have been carefully considered in that it aligns with the broader objective of nursing the UK economy back to health by stimulating growth, which is the only realistic way to deliver rising prosperity.
To find out more about how Mr Hunt hopes to achieve this objective and assess what impact it might have on you personally, please refer to our Budget guide by clicking here.
You can download a PDF version by clicking here.