The Chancellor gave a Budget for an election due in two years, while families wonder what they'll eat in two days
Since the new year one issue has dominated people’s lives: the rising cost of food and heating. From next month, people will also be facing higher council tax and national insurance.
This week the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, set out his response to the growing cost of living scandal.
Sunak’s announcements mostly consisted of tax cuts for middle earners. 5p off fuel duty. A higher threshold for when national insurance kicks in. A promised 1p off income tax in 2024. This will help some families, but it’s nowhere near enough.
“Is that it?” one MP bellowed towards the end of Sunak’s Spring Statement on Wednesday.
It’s hard to recall a time when the experts and the media were more united in criticising a chancellor’s performance
Rishi Sunak’s announcements will do little to stop the slide into poverty we are about to see. The official figures suggest that people are about to experience the biggest fall in living standards on record. Rising bills for energy, food and petrol will wipe out much of the tax cuts announced.
Decisions about tax and spending are political choices.
Despite calls for a windfall tax on companies like BP, who’ve enjoyed huge profits, Rishi Sunak sat on his hands. He failed to provide more support to those on the lowest incomes. The chancellor has done little to close the tax loopholes used by the wealthy.
It’s important to see all of this in the broader context. Millions of people face financial insecurity after being denied a real pay rise for decades. In the wake of the budget our friends at CLASS and Autonomy launched a new tool so you can assess where you and your family sit in terms of financial insecurity. Do take a look.
Politics is about choices, and the Chancellor made the wrong choices this week. He prioritised tax cuts on middle earners, while ignoring many struggling families.
Sign up to our free weekly newsletter: