Rishi Sunak’s first budget was dominated by coronavirus, but the Chancellor also ramped up spending. This will be funded by extra borrowing. Despite the leaks in advance of today’s speech, the Chancellor has ducked big questions about how to make the tax system fairer and more effective.
Robert Palmer, Executive Director of Tax Justice UK said: “After years of austerity the Chancellor has turned on the spending taps. The Conservatives have promised billions for infrastructure but this budget won’t provide the much needed increase to other areas including social care and local government.”
The Chancellor announced a number of small tax changes that Tax Justice UK has called for, including reducing entrepreneurs relief, cancelling cuts to corporation tax and increasing funding to HMRC to tackle tax dodging.
Mr Palmer added: “It’s good to see some modest measures to increase taxes on wealth and companies. But these are baby steps compared to what’s needed to help fund public services and tackle inequality. The more ambitious ideas floated in recent months, such as a mansion tax or higher fuel duty, fell amid backbench Tory rebellion. On tax, this budget is the dog that didn’t bark”
Focus groups carried out after the election by Tax Justice UK and Survation found that people want to see much more investment in their local areas. No one called for tax cuts and there was support for some higher taxes on wealth.