Are You Mad? This Is Brill ... Feedback From Kwasi's Mini Budget

Posted on Sep 23, 2022. by NTI

There has already been polarised feedback and comment from Kwasi Kwarteng's first sortie into the minefield that is UK treasury announcements today (Friday 23 September).

The Confederation of Business Industry, the lobby group which represents thousands of UK firms, says the chancellor's fiscal statement "is a turning point for our economy".

Mark Russell of The Children's Society charity says the Government is “failing miserably” to meet the needs of struggling low-income families, whilst “spending billions in handouts to benefit those on the highest incomes".

Sanjit from Leicester said, "Kwasi's a babe. Respect ... as in R.E.S.P.E.C.T."

It turned out to be the most maxi of minis, multiple billions of pounds being hurled around the second chamber of Parliament. It is impossible not to have a view. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor who looks like she has turned up late for a school run, said: "It is plan to reward the already wealthy". This earned the retort that hers is the politics of envy, as bricks fell from the red wall all over the centre and north of our country. Certainly this mini-budget was not short of talking points.

The financial markets prefer to speak silently in numbers, taking a downturn with the pound failing 1% against the dollar to $1.11. City analysts have ramped up their expectations of quicker and higher interest rates after the Government announced its £45 billion tax giveaway, on top of the £150 billion it launched our way to ameliorate the greatest of our energy price concerns.

Is the most controversial move that the basic rate of income tax has been cut to 19p, and the 45 per cent top rate of tax for higher earners abolished - although this doesn't apply in Scotland? The threshold before stamp duty is paid in England and Northern Ireland has been raised to £250,000 - for first time buyers it is now £425,000.

An increase in National Insurance has been reversed, and low-tax investment zones will be set up across the UK. The much-tipped rise on corporation tax from 19% to 25% is scrapped. Equally unsurprising is the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance from 6 November. The disability charity, Scope, believes the chancellor should have increased benefits in line with inflation and that this scrap in the National Insurance rise does nothing to help those who are not working. Good point.

There was a swipe at those pesky striking rail workers, too. Unions will be required to put offers to members during pay talks.

High up on the 'What On Earth Are The Tories THINKING?!' list is the cap on bankers' bonuses, which limited rewards to twice the salary level, being axed. This and the higher rate tax payers thing are designed to attract people to our country to work (as if our natural positivity and open-mindedness isn't enough).

You will recieve a million emails and messages accountant-splaining the budget to you - so good luck with those. For more from NTI, stay tuned. 

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