Philip Hammond’s first budget was a bit of an oddity. Like George Osborne, he has some interesting ideas but seems reluctant to properly implement them.
The big furore is obviously over his National Insurance increases. It is hard to criticise these as such. However, it is unbelievable that he did not preface them by saying, “Although I realise that our election manifesto pledged not to increase NI, the Brexit vote means that we need to try to balance the books this year and an increase in NI for the self-employed is a fair contribution towards this end”. He has made matters worse by saying afterwards that the pledge not to increase NI referred only to NI on employees even though the pledge did not say so.
The other big issue was business rates – where the furore is still to come. The press have not yet worked out how insignificant a £300mn hardship fund is.
CBW Tax gives a considered opinion on the UK government’s spring 2017 budget and how it could affect you.