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The first Autumn Statement under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government is to be announced next Thursday, November 17th. The country has seen much turmoil in the last year. From soaring living costs to rapidly rising inflation. Let’s not forget the eye-watering interest rates! The general public are hotly anticipating what is to come.
This is also new ground for the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, who will make the statement next week. There have already been plenty of murmurs about what could be discussed. In light of this, we asked our founder and personal finance expert Jasmine Birtles to give her predictions for what is likely to come next Thursday.
Your opinions on the upcoming budget?
“So, this is the first Autumn Statement from the unpopular Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, brought in by the unelected PM, Rishi Sunak…a man who was not even popular enough with his own party members to be elected by them.
“I personally was behind Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget as I have been saying for some time that the only way out of our mess – the mess created by the Lockdowns and insane money-printing that went on over the last few years under Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s ‘reign’ – is to go for growth. Cutting taxes across the board would, I believe, have increased growth and therefore increased the tax take which would have covered the costs incurred by Kwarteng’s policy. But our dumb Bank of England didn’t like that and there was, to my mind, quite clearly a stitch-up of Truss and Kwarteng organised through the media so that their policies were never given a chance.
“Now we have the WEF-approved Sunak and Hunt who have forced themselves into power, supported, largely, by the mainstream media, they will bring us a slow and increasingly painful decline I believe.”
What is being speculated?
“We have been hearing rumours that Hunt has been looking for ways to tax us more. One rumour was that he would slap capital gains tax on our residential homes. That would go own like a plate of cold sick with most voters (people who own their own homes are, apparently, more likely to vote than those who don’t). So I suspect that will not be suggested.
“From what I’ve heard, although there are likely to be tax rises, Hunt is looking at making cut-backs rather than increasing taxes so much. However, I do still expect at least stealth taxes, such as the ones Sunak foisted on us. So it’s likely, for example, that he will freeze income tax for even longer than Sunak did to make sure that we all gradually pay more tax as our salaries (we would hope) increase over time.
“There are rumours that there will be extra tax on inheritances too but, again, that would go down very badly with their core voters, as would any cuts that would affect pensioners who make up a large part of their voters. They have already reversed the Kwarteng decision to scrap the increased corporation tax, which I think is a mistake as businesses will need all the help they can get to keep afloat and keep employing people.
“One thing all businesses say is that we need to bring VAT down but I don’t see that happening. It’s unlikely that he will increase VAT though as the economy couldn’t take it.”
What are your predictions?
“We are already seeing cuts in public spending with several arts cuts and I think that will continue together with cuts to local councils, cuts to infrastructure (even though we desperately need that improving) and even cuts to social spending that supports the poor. I don’t think there will be cuts to benefits for pensioners as they make up a significant number of Tory voters.
“Will there be a National Insurance increase? There may be but it would be a stupid idea. NI is a tax by another name and would significantly impact the economy. As we are coming into a long recession the government needs to do what it can to support business and keep prices down so that people continue to spend. Increasing NI will put more of a burden on businesses and will put less money in workers’ pockets so they will spend less. We need money washing round the system, not drying up in extra taxes.”
“I suspect that this Autumn Statement will try to look like it is fiscally responsible and taking things slowly. In reality it will be squeezing the life out of the economy and out of the low-paid workers. That’s what Sunk’s policies have done in the past and Hunt has similar views.
“I am not hopeful for what we will hear on Thursday.”
What are your predictions for the Autumn Statement next week? Leave your thoughts in the comments!