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In the latest decisive swoop of indecisiveness, Jeremy Hunt performed a 180 degree turn from the Mini Budget delivered less than two months ago by his predecessor. If the Mini Budget was dubbed “The Growth Plan”, can the Autumn Budget also be a plan for growth?
It was a step in the right direction: re-implementing fiscal discipline in an effort to re-galvanise trust in HM Treasury. Notwithstanding, it’s disappointing that fairer and more creative means of collecting taxes were not applied, rather than manipulating the tax bands in a move which fiscal-drags one and all. The 40% band no longer applies to the wealthiest. The capital gains tax rates on investment income are still only 50% of those paid on working income.
There were surely opportunities missed to rebalance the tax-system in a much-needed fairer way. Especially now in the face of a looming recession – or potentially depression, when the smallest tweaks in taxes and spending will have knock on effects on the amount of money that is spent on our high streets.
Taxes aside, there is risk of a continued disintegration of public services – this will come home to roost in two years if inflation continues its current trajectory amidst public spending cuts of £28bn.
Visit our Budget Highlights and tax data for a summary of the Autumn Statement 2022.