Our panel of interactive investor customers reveal their likes and dislikes following chancellor Rishi Sunak’s second budget of 2021.
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Tony Jackson, semi-retired academic economist, University of Dundee
The chancellor certainly did not deliver what might be termed an ‘austerity’ budget. After enduring the effects of the Covid pandemic on the UK economy and allowing public spending to soar in the short term as a consequence during lockdowns, now these have been lifted he has not simply reined in Government finances but decided to boost public services as a way to achieve recovery: the UK public sector will receive a £150 billion boost stemming from his plans in this budget.
He gave the leisure and recreation sector a 50% rebate on business rates for small businesses to help them recover. This is OK, provided the rates support grant for local authorities is increased to offset this impact on their funding.
He also emphasised the need to boost productivity and growth, while offering those on low pay and receiving Universal Credit significant assistance, including increases in the minimum living wage, and significantly reducing the taper on Universal Credit for wage earners. However, the revised taper still represents one of the highest marginal rates of tax on income.
Although estimates from various sources suggest that the net economic impact on middle income earners will be negative, this budget is significantly more upbeat than many had been expecting, helped by Treasury forecasts suggesting faster economic growth and greater boosts to Government revenues as a result.
Tony Clish, near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
The unexpected strength of the UK economy has given the chancellor a financial boost and enabled him to be more generous than expected. Overall good news, and it is welcomed that he has targeted his spending on those on benefits plus areas of the economy most in need of support.
The regional support to try to level up the UK was welcomed. Always good to hear Teesside get a positive mention in the Budget, and not once but twice in this statement.
Disappointing though that there wasn’t a greater green agenda. Reducing aviation taxes for domestic flights is at odds with investment to boost rail travel and reducing transport carbon emissions.
A missed opportunity for longer-term structural changes to encourage a more sustainable greener economy.
But the support for draught beer was welcome, not least as it reduces the demand for packaged producers. More of that type of initiative would be a welcome.
Simon Nicholson, Amersham, Bucks
Not too much economic buffer-building leaving us vulnerable should Covid take a bad turn. Too much Boris, not enough true Rishi.
A rather left-wing budget which adds to inflationary fires. Lots of giveaways to further fuel already rampant inflation - minimum wage inflation-busting increase, unproductive civil service pay increases, freebie hand-outs to devolved governments - good politics perhaps.
Urgently needed pension taxation reform not addressed.
Good to see some simplification mindset, more should be encouraged. But what is the moral justification for a 3% corporation tax surcharge for banks for example? Hospitality business rates relief, just a temporary expedient - what should be the longer-term solution? More level playing fields required.
Too many balls kicked down the road. One gets the feeling that more tax increases are not too far away when taxation relative to GDP is already close to record levels.
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