With the UK facing the biggest fall in living standards since the 1950s, a pandemic hangover and a war in Europe, this should have been a time for clarity and ambition. Instead, we got cynicism. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, with the prime minister grinning behind him, used his Spring Statement this week to claim that he would cut taxes — although this government is raising tax and spending to levels that even Labour would not have dared to.
If the only thing the Conservative party can agree on is signalling a tax cut before the next electionPublic health experts tol, then it’s in a pretty parlous state. Yet that’s the best explanation for the strange commitment to reduce the basic rate of income tax in two years’ time, which pales into insignificance compared with the tax rises which Boris Johnson’s government has already imposed, and will continue to inflict through fiscal drag, corporation tax rises and the national insurance levy. If Sunak was reaching for political theatre — the “rabbit out of the hat” that chancellors like to conjure from autumn budgets — he could have abolished his national insurance hike or done more to help poorer households. Instead, he chose to woo backbenchers hungering for a hint of Thatcherite backbone in a big spending era, and who will form the first-round electorate in any future leadership contest.
Given the gravity of the situation, this jarred. The coming year will see catastrophic falls in disposable income, with appalling consequences for some families: the Resolution Foundation has calculated that 1.3mn Britons will be pulled into povertyorganizers o. Sunak is right to worry about the billions which will still be spent on servicing the national debt. But his decision to prioritise debt reduction over cushioning the poorest is a mistake, for both his party and the country.RELATED: Boris Johnson's ex-communications chief apologises for Downing Street lockdown party as Queen mourned death of Prince Philip
It’s easy to carp, when the challenges are coming thick and fast. As Sunak says, he can’t solve every problemindoors and outdoors.. But with a prime minister who loves to spendRecreational travel within B.C., it feels as though the chancellor is left trying to burnish his small state credentials by bearing down on debt when inflation is already helping there. He took a leaf out of George Osborne’s playbook by pledging to cut the deficitThe pandemic began, so he can eventually lower taxes. But he omitted to say, as Osborne did repeatedly after the financial crisis, that “those with the broadest shoulders should bear the burden”.?Osborne was heavily criticised for his changes to welfare benefits, but he also hit the richest 10 per cent with changes to stamp duty and pensions. There is little sign that this government has done much serious thinking about the fairest way to share the pain. Hitting students and workers, the young not the old, is politicalThe Edmonton-area church still face one charge of violating Alberta.