Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
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Brexit threat to Britain's latest budget

Brexit threat to Britain's latest budget

"The era of austerity is coming to an end, but discipline will be maintained", Hammond said.

Hammond on Monday loosened the purse strings, with the announcement of a multi-billion-pound increase in funding for the state-run National Health Service (NHS) over the next five years, while he outlined his much-trailed digital services tax which targets Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook.

The chancellor also insisted that his Budget tax cuts and spending hikes were not meant to woo voters ahead of an early poll.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Brexiteer Mr Bone praised the Chancellor for a "Brexit dividend Budget" to a quizzical grimace from Mr Hammond.

The Daily Mail runs with the headline "Phil-Good Factor!", and says the Budget marked a dramatic shift in strategy.

"The UK is running ahead of every other country except Spain", he said.

And the Financial Times reports that Mr Hammond warned a disorderly Brexit could cast a cloud over cash-starved public services.

"What was clear in the Budget yesterday is we have fully funded that. extra money into our NHS and not raising taxes".

It's also a little earlier than last year's (which was 22 November) to leave a gap in between these plans and Brexit implementation and ensure there is time to come to a deal with finances in mind.


Urging the chancellor to conduct a formal review of taxation alongside the government's planned spending review next year, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said Hammond would be unable to balance the books in future without finding extra tax revenue.

It will be carefully created to ensure it is established tech giants - rather than our tech start-ups - that shoulder the burden of this new tax.

Derek Mackay clearly hinted he would not follow the Chancellor's example in upping the threshold for the higher rate of of the charge.

Scots now pay income tax at 41p in the pound between £43,340 and £150,000, while in England the rate is 40p and the threshold is £46,350. "They might - there's perhaps a one in three chance of that". "More likely he would just allow borrowing to persist at a higher level".

Downing Street confirmed that budgets for departments other than health, defence and aid would rise overall in line with inflation over the coming period, but was unable to guarantee than none would see a real-terms fall.

But given the dominance of USA tech giants, President Donald Trump's administration may not appreciate the proposal at a time when Britain is trying to agree new trade deals.

The Chancellor budget speech signalled a subtle - but significant - shift in the Conservative's choice of language about austerity.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told ITV's Good Morning Britain that the Tories "usually do this".

But he said voters would be "crushingly disappointed" that the Budget did not deliver the end of austerity.

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