A financial pro has pulled apart the Tories’ ‘pantomime’ budget

Rishi Sunak has avoided talking about an issue with Universal Credit
Steve Topple

A financial professional has already pulled apart the 2020 budget. But don’t worry. You don’t need to read a complex essay on just what Rishi Sunak‘s plans mean. Because this tax expert has done it all via Twitter.

Richard Murphy is a chartered account and commentator. In 2017, he came out in support of Jeremy Corbyn. His views on tax and finance are quite forward thinking. So with the chancellor delivering the budget on Wednesday 11 March, Murphy is one of the go-to people to debunk it. And pull it apart he did, showing that the reality of what the Tories are promising isn’t pretty.

Budget pledge one: small businesses

As the Guardian reported, Sunak announced a:

£1bn of lending via a government-backed loan scheme, with government backing 80% of losses on bank lending.

Sounds big, right? Not according to Murphy:

Also, the chancellor will:

abolish business rates altogether for this year for retailers, in a tax cut worth more than £1bn.

There’s that huge £1bn figure, but again:

And:

Budget pledge two: tax and government finances

Apparently, Sunak and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) say that government debt is going to fall as a percentage of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2024/25. But Murphy thinks this is very unlikely:

Also, Sunak has raised the National Insurance threshold (the level at which people start paying it). But as Murphy pointed out, that will only save £104 a year for most people.

Budget pledge three: the environment

The chancellor announced a series of measures to do with the climate crisis, air pollution, and ecological breakdown. But were any of them worth the (hopefully recycled) paper Sunak wrote them on?

As Murphy noted:

He went on to note that:

Green measures are a shift of tax from electricity to gas and some measures on plastic. And that is literally it. Nothing else at all. What are [they] thinking about? This is staggeringly inept when #COP26 is coming. …

Oh, a little more green – but so little that just £1 billion is invested in green transport solutions – and most is plugs for Teslas that most people will never afford

And as Murphy neatly summed up regarding the chancellor’s pledge to build 4,000 miles of new roads:

I despair – £27 billion of tarmac – all to encourage even more use of carbon fuels – which is the last thing we need when public transport should be the focus now #budget2020 Surest sign that this government is living in the deep past. …

All the resources needed to create the Green New Deal have just gone into road building in the UK. This is really bad news for the future of our country and planet

Meanwhile…

Murphy was also scathing about the increase in the charge for people from overseas using the NHS. And also:

Overall, he was unimpressed to say the least with Sunak’s budget, stressing:

The more and more I am hearing from this Chancellor the more I realise he is living on a planet that isn’t the one the rest of us are going to suffer on as climate change really hits us

And Murphy summed it up best as he called the budget a “pantomime”. We’ll know more about just what the Tories’ announcement means in reality over the coming days. Because numbers will be crunched, policies costed, and probably cuts to public services exposed. But for now, Murphy’s assessment of the main points of Sunak’s budget paints a pretty dire picture.

Featured image via Guardian News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
      1. The Chancellor is going to Borrow to Invest in the UK? The Bank of England is Buying 435 Billion Pounds worth of US Treasury Bonds every Year. The UK is propping up American Debt and Borrowing to “Invest” in UK People?
        What a Wally. Who is Boris kidding. All this UK Arse Licking won`t matter to Trump when the Trade Deal is done.

    1. It’s about time they stopped talking about “consumer confidence” and just left it at business confidence. I’ve never once had to put something back on the shelf because I didn’t have the confidence to buy it, but I’ve had to put allsorts back because I didn’t have the money.

      Confidence may get businesses by but consumers need the cash.

    2. Quite apart from the content of the budget I was appalled at the presentation. Where is this fool think he was. I think the only thing missing was the Cheerleaders with their short skirts and pompoms doing a rah rah. The budget is a serious matter and someone needs to tell that to the fool and teach him how to behave. Oh wait he’s a groveller to Johnson (that’s being ladylike)

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