As a trainee accountant, it is part of my nature and job that I should be interested in the budget, but what a lot of nothing the budget was. Full of interpretations and facts that most of us knew already – there’s a recession, job losses and government borrowing are on the up, and taxes will have to rise. So, taxes on the rich will rise to 50%. Looks good on paper (unless you are very well off), but doesn’t raise that much money, and the particularly well off are good at organising their wealth to avoid very high taxes. The idea of removing relief for these people on pension contributions seems very unfair. First you are taxed at 50% on the earnings, then you get 20% relief on putting them into the pension, and then when the pension pays out your annuity, you get taxed at 40 or 50 % again. Taxed twice on the same money. You may as well not bother with the pension.
The usual increases in alcohol and fuel duty will make a small difference, but squeeze margins in our already struggling pubs and restaurants, and affect those who rely on their cars for work – nurses etc.
So, all in all, no give at all, and only a small amount of take, and the mountain of government and personal debt continues to rise. Time for a rethink? Or an election? Both and soon.