Rishi Sunak’s Budget will be an expensive and painful sandwich of giveaways and tax hikes


RISHI Sunak’s Budget next week will be an expensive and painful sandwich of giveaways and tax hikes.

Insiders are calling it “two big slices of bread with very thin jam”.

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Rishi Sunak will announce his Budget next week

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Rishi Sunak will announce his Budget next weekCredit: Reuters
Insiders are calling it 'two big slices of bread with very thin jam'

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Insiders are calling it ‘two big slices of bread with very thin jam’

Slice one is a £30billion Covid support bundle that will see furlough, business relief, the Universal Credit uplift and stamp duty holiday all extended to June.

Doing this for three months more, to bring those measures in line with the Government’s programme for coming out of lockdown, leaves “thin jam” — or little to spend elsewhere.

Slice two is a painful package of tax hikes to start raising billions to close the UK’s budget deficit, which will hit £400billion by April.

Experts say that needs reducing by around £30-40billion now to stabilise borrowing and prevent debt from rising as a percentage of national income.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said: “Even if the Government was comfortable with stabilising debt at 100 per cent of national income — its highest level since 1960 — it would still need a fiscal tightening worth 2.1 per cent of national income, or £43billion.”

In a bid to prove to the world that Britain’s spending is not out of control, Chancellor Mr Sunak will likely announce a hike in corporation taxes — up to as much as 25 per cent from 19 per cent over a number of years.

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Keir Starmer says now is not the time for tax rises for families or businesses

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Keir Starmer says now is not the time for tax rises for families or businessesCredit: PA:Press Association
Boris Johnson unveiled his lockdown roadmap on Monday

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Boris Johnson unveiled his lockdown roadmap on MondayCredit: AFP or licensors

Raising capital gains will target the rich, such as second-home owners.

A government source said: “Action needs to be taken now, not in November and not next year, but now.

“The Budget will make a start on that stabilisation. It can’t go the whole way in one fiscal event but it will make a start.”

Covid spending means “thin jam” for other giveaways.

Mr Sunak is under pressure to keep the freeze on fuel duty rises and give a lockdown recovery gift of slashed booze levies plus allocating cash for infrastructure plans in the North.

Labour has insisted: “Now is not the time for tax rises for families or businesses.”

The Sun Says

WE couldn’t believe our ears.

Who was this politician yesterday, soundly agreeing with The Sun that “now is not the time for tax rises for businesses”?

None other than Sir Keir, the Starmer chameleon.

A little more than a year ago,  this same man campaigned to install  mega-taxing, business-wrecking, Brexit- reversing Marxists in Downing Street. Yet here he was, for once making sense.

Sadly, Chancellor Rishi Sunak seems focused on tax hikes to whittle down the vast Covid debt. We sympathise. But we’re not minded to back any.

We will shed the fewest tears about owners of multiple homes paying more capital gains tax when they flog them.

But increasing corporation tax now, when Britain desperately needs firms to create jobs and growth, is madness.

READ  Coronavirus: UK 'on knife-edge' as cases rise and lockdowns grow

Does it not bother the Treasury to be plotting tax rises even Labour baulks at?

Pleas not to hike fuel duty — backed by The Sun’s Keep It Down crusade — come as a new eco-petrol is sanctioned for use at UK pumps.

Ministers signed off plans for E10 — a mix of petrol and ethanol made from materials including grains, sugars and waste wood — from September.

The cut in emissions will be like taking 350,000 cars off our roads.

Boris Johnson hints at furlough extension as he promises not to ‘pull the rug out’ on economic support

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