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Long-term economic consequences of Covid-19 fallout

brad465

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With the suggestion £250B has accumulated in peoples banks accounts over the last year we know thats going to be largely skewed to well off people they need to raid tax off those people. Yes some Tories will whinge but lets be honest those sort of people aren't going to go out and vote labour even if they do it.
I also reckon majority of people would accept a tax rise that is used to fund NHS improvements so they have resources to deal with this again and the a backlog that has arisen on treatments.
If that money is going to be raided the most likely way it would be is if, as is being widely speculated, the Bank of England sends rates negative, which of course would either only benefit the banks, unless consumers do actually do what the BoE would desire which is more consumer spending, despite the fact that many will have learned to go on a spending spree in the current climate and that our entire economic system is broken, as demonstrated in their low rates and leaving the money printer running.
 
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kristiang85

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If that money is going to be raided the most likely way it would be is if, as is being widely speculated, the Bank of England sends rates negative, which of course would either only benefit the banks, unless consumers do actually do what the BoE would desire which is more consumer spending, despite the fact that many will have learned to go on a spending spree in the current climate and that our entire economic system is broken, as demonstrated in their low rates and leaving the money printer running.

Given how much the pound is strengthening, many analysts/investors clearly do not expect the BoE to go into negative rates now.

But I agree with what's been said already - I'm one of those savers, but whilst I see myself as middle class I'm certainly not rich, I've just worked all year and am waiting to splurge when I'm free again. I will happily fill up the VAT coffers and make up for lost time in my local pubs and restaurants and favourite B&Bs I've solely missed. But this government has another thing coming if they think I'm going to accept a rise in taxes on my savings or income to fill a hole caused by them paying people to sit at home and voiciferiously support what has been the most miserable and waste of a year I've had in my life, let alone the billions wasted on their mates with dodgy test and trace schemes and the like.
 

bramling

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If that money is going to be raided the most likely way it would be is if, as is being widely speculated, the Bank of England sends rates negative, which of course would either only benefit the banks, unless consumers do actually do what the BoE would desire which is more consumer spending, despite the fact that many will have learned to go on a spending spree in the current climate and that our entire economic system is broken, as demonstrated in their low rates and leaving the money printer running.

Negative interest rates could be a total disaster if it were to cause a run on the banks. Were banks to pass this on to domestic households, and this led to even modest numbers of people deciding to withdraw all their money and keep it in the bottom of the wardrobe, we could certainly see banks collapsing.

I’d also add my name to the others who have posted that the government will have another think coming if they think people will tolerate a raid on savings largely caused by a policy decision to pay people to needlessly sit at home.

We might not have seen mass direct civil disobedience over Covid (though we’ve certainly seen elements of indirect civil disobedience), but raiding people’s savings is a sure way to stir it.
 

Bantamzen

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I reckon if you think they can raid my savings that I've collected by working 60 hour weeks, so you can pay for the the year off they've given everybody else, you've got another think coming. The money is there to pay for a house it hasn't been practical for me to buy all year, and if the government go dipping into it then don't imagine I'm going to ever voluntarily a single penny of tax I can avoid ever again.
Whilst I have every sympathy with savers, don't expect any from the Chancellor. He's already rewarded parts of the public sector that have worked through this pandemic (often with long hours like yourself) with pay freezes for the foreseeable. I'm afraid when he comes a knocking to claw back some of the hundreds of billions p***ed away, lots of people are going to be very unhappy.
 

yorksrob

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Two colleagues of mine have separately reported direct/indirect experience of theft/burglary within the week.

A portent of things to come I fear.
 
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If that money is going to be raided the most likely way it would be is if, as is being widely speculated, the Bank of England sends rates negative, which of course would either only benefit the banks, unless consumers do actually do what the BoE would desire which is more consumer spending, despite the fact that many will have learned to go on a spending spree in the current climate and that our entire economic system is broken, as demonstrated in their low rates and leaving the money printer running.

Negative interest rates could be a total disaster if it were to cause a run on the banks. Were banks to pass this on to domestic households, and this led to even modest numbers of people deciding to withdraw all their money and keep it in the bottom of the wardrobe, we could certainly see banks collapsing.

I’d also add my name to the others who have posted that the government will have another think coming if they think people will tolerate a raid on savings largely caused by a policy decision to pay people to needlessly sit at home.

We might not have seen mass direct civil disobedience over Covid (though we’ve certainly seen elements of indirect civil disobedience), but raiding people’s savings is a sure way to stir it.

Negative interest rates are not as beneficial to banks as might appear at first sight. For a start, the sums the banking groups have on deposit with the Bank of England will start costing those groups money. Some of these deposits are regulatory requirements. At the same time, there will be customer pressure (both commercial and retail) along the lines of “Why are you charging me 5/6/7% on my loan when rates are supposed to be going down?”. A perverse side-effect of negative central bank rates will be a rise in credit card and other unsecured loan rates, as the banks seek to maintain margins.

Also factor in things like interest rate swaps and other such derivative/hedging instruments, which start detonating in all sorts of unexpected places. Most of the big banking groups’ investment arms are heavily involved in these markets.

As to the wider long-term economic effects of Covid-19, I honestly think it is too soon to tell in any accurate way. After all we are not yet at the end of the situation by any means. I’m not optimistic though. I suppose a clue might gleaned from keeping an eye on long-term yields for government bonds; these have been and continue to be subdued, but if they start rising in any sustained way then that will be parking the muck-spreader under the helicopter.
 

brad465

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The boss of fast food chain Leon has spoken out against lockdowns lasting too long, saying even a few weeks will cost lives:


Extending lockdowns even by a matter of weeks will "cost lives", the co-founder of fast-food chain Leon has said.

John Vincent said businesses were "at the heart of a functioning and healthy society" and were losing money that should be going to their employees and the government through taxes.

The prime minister has said people should be "optimistic but patient" about national lockdowns.

He will set out a road map for lifting England's restrictions on Monday.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Vincent said it was "quite possible" that Leon could fold "if weeks and months drag on", as it was losing around £200,000 a week. That figure was more like £800,000 when "what we would have been making" is taken into account, he said.

"That's money that isn't going into the economy, it's not going into the wallets of the people who work for Leon, and it's not going to pay the taxes that we need to pay," he said.

"No one's asked us for these numbers, so how does the government know what's going on in the economy?"

He said there had been a "pantomime of scientists against business" during the pandemic - "as if there isn't one giant shared agenda" - and the latter were "positioned as the uncompassionate ones".

But the length of lockdowns "matters hugely", he said, adding that the government had not produced a "holistic cost-benefit analysis".

"Therefore, how can we be making this decision about the impacts on the young today and for their futures? How can we make (decisions about) the impacts of the huge economic destruction which is costing lives? When we lose our economy we lose lives," he said.

"How can we be saying, glibly, 'it doesn't matter if lockdown carries on for a few weeks or months longer than necessary' without the analysis? I wouldn't launch a chicken wrap without analysis."

The prime minister said during a coronavirus briefing this week that steps taken to ease lockdown should be "cautious but irreversible".

Mr Johnson hailed the success of the vaccine rollout, but warned the threat from the virus remained "very real" and now was not the time to "relax".

Interestingly the BBC have given it prominent landing page coverage so maybe being well viewed.
 

Bantamzen

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The boss of fast food chain Leon has spoken out against lockdowns lasting too long, saying even a few weeks will cost lives:




Interestingly the BBC have given it prominent landing page coverage so maybe being well viewed.
I've seen quite a few businesses say that no real attempt has been made by the government to consider the cost to them given the restrictions. In fact given what I have heard from conversations where I work the direct cost of furlough, unemployment and on welfare systems has somehow taken ministers by surprise. And yet despite increasingly alarming results to the economy & to public spending deficits, the government still seem to think they can bluster their way out of this unscathed. Jobs are going under the bus at an increasing rates, albeit largely under the radar as the majority of the media are still in full covid-phobia mode.
 

brad465

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I've seen quite a few businesses say that no real attempt has been made by the government to consider the cost to them given the restrictions. In fact given what I have heard from conversations where I work the direct cost of furlough, unemployment and on welfare systems has somehow taken ministers by surprise. And yet despite increasingly alarming results to the economy & to public spending deficits, the government still seem to think they can bluster their way out of this unscathed. Jobs are going under the bus at an increasing rates, albeit largely under the radar as the majority of the media are still in full covid-phobia mode.
They're probably continuing this because they've gone so far already that turning back would be a huge admission of guilt and failure, accepting you may already know this. It will be better for them to be found out only after they've left office and the damage is the responsibility of someone else, just like with David Cameron running away.

The Financial Times are reporting that Sunak is planning a corporation tax "hike", while hoping to use Biden's plans to raise US corporation tax as cover. It sounds like Sunak may push it to as high as 25%, although 23% is touted as being more likely.


(can't copy text under their copyright rules)

Something I forgot to recall was that Furlough numbers in January reached 4.7 million:


The number of people on furlough rose by 700,000 in January after tighter lockdown restrictions were imposed.

Treasury figures show a total of 4.7 million people were on the government scheme at the end of the month.

The hospitality sector, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, furloughed 1.15 million people in January - an increase of 3%.

But the middle of February a total of £53.8bn had been claimed since the furlough scheme began last year.

The furlough data means that 16% of eligible workers were on the support scheme at the end of January.

In total, 11.2 million employees across the UK have been given furlough cash. The scheme pays up to 80% of salaries to those who cannot work because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Current unemployment is estimated to be 5.1%, around 1.75 million people. Therefore I don't see much being needed for unemployment to go above 10%, just over a third of those on furlough not having a job to go back to would achieve this, and puts the estimates in the last spending review and the BoE forecasting (around 7.8%) well out if this happens.
 
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Eyersey468

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One thing I can see happening as I have said elsewhere is some sectors will be near impossible to get backing for any new start ups for years as the confidence won't be there. Who will want to invest if a business can be forced to close yet again at a moments notice on a ministerial whim?
 

WelshBluebird

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The Financial Times are reporting that Sunak is planning a corporation tax "hike", while hoping to use Biden's plans to raise US corporation tax as cover. It sounds like Sunak may push it to as high as 25%, although 23% is touted as being more likely.
I mean, if you look at our previous corporation tax rates over the last 2 decades, 25% is hardly high. It was 30% in in 2007.
Argue if you want if a higher or lower rate is fair and right, but to suggest that any rise is a "hike" to "high" levels and that would be devastating to businesses really misses how high it was in fairly recent history.
 

DB

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I mean, if you look at our previous corporation tax rates over the last 2 decades, 25% is hardly high. It was 30% in in 2007.
Argue if you want if a higher or lower rate is fair and right, but to suggest that any rise is a "hike" to "high" levels and that would be devastating to businesses really misses how high it was in fairly recent history.

That was in better times though - a big tax hike on businesses now could be the final straw for many - although of course some major multinationals (e.g. Amazon) will have done very well out of the past year.
 

RuralRambler

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I've seen quite a few businesses say that no real attempt has been made by the government to consider the cost to them given the restrictions. In fact given what I have heard from conversations where I work the direct cost of furlough, unemployment and on welfare systems has somehow taken ministers by surprise. And yet despite increasingly alarming results to the economy & to public spending deficits, the government still seem to think they can bluster their way out of this unscathed. Jobs are going under the bus at an increasing rates, albeit largely under the radar as the majority of the media are still in full covid-phobia mode.
I think Rishi assumed covid would be just a "blip" of a few months and decided to throw money around like confetti to make a bit splash to get himself seen as the new Chancellor (with an eye on being the next PM). He is the one who reduced VAT for the hospitality and accommodation sector and the "eat out to spread covid" scheme, both with a view to encouraging people out to spend in pubs, restaurants, hotels, etc. It's all backfired spectacularly as he was in denial about a second wave. In Summer "he thought it was all over!". Even as late as 30 October, he was planning to stop the furlough scheme and had to do a last minute reprieve on the same day as Boris announced the November lockdown! Now we're so far down the line, Rishi is trapped as he can't risk the bad publicity to his image of pulling the rug from under the feet of those who've benefitted from his schemes. In his Budget last week he was a shadow of his performance in the March 20 Budget where he was very "up for it", gung-ho, etc as he didn't appreciate the enormity of the problem and just how much his schemes would cost.
 

Domh245

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That was in better times though - a big tax hike on businesses now could be the final straw for many - although of course some major multinationals (e.g. Amazon) will have done very well out of the past year.

I fail to see a scenario would be the final straw? As it's paid on profits, companies have to be in a good place by default to pay it. Factor in as well that it's a sliding scale from 19% (as now) for profits under £50k only hitting 25% at £250k profit, and coming in 2 years for now...

Perhaps there are businesses that are reliant on their huge profits to keep afloat during normal times and the minimum £15k they stand to lose is the difference between going under or not, but I'm doubtful
 

Bantamzen

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I think Rishi assumed covid would be just a "blip" of a few months and decided to throw money around like confetti to make a bit splash to get himself seen as the new Chancellor (with an eye on being the next PM). He is the one who reduced VAT for the hospitality and accommodation sector and the "eat out to spread covid" scheme, both with a view to encouraging people out to spend in pubs, restaurants, hotels, etc. It's all backfired spectacularly as he was in denial about a second wave. In Summer "he thought it was all over!". Even as late as 30 October, he was planning to stop the furlough scheme and had to do a last minute reprieve on the same day as Boris announced the November lockdown! Now we're so far down the line, Rishi is trapped as he can't risk the bad publicity to his image of pulling the rug from under the feet of those who've benefitted from his schemes. In his Budget last week he was a shadow of his performance in the March 20 Budget where he was very "up for it", gung-ho, etc as he didn't appreciate the enormity of the problem and just how much his schemes would cost.
I've mentioned before that I think Sunak has not been having the say in all of this, it was obvious to me in the Autumn that he wanted to call time on things like furlough, but I suspect the rest of the cabinet were not ready or willing to do so. The budget delivery may not have been a gung-ho performance, but it was sobering. He basically called time on many of the costly restrictions, and paved the way for a lot more nasty surprises down the road, one of which has already been delivered to the NHS.
 

Eyersey468

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I've mentioned before that I think Sunak has not been having the say in all of this, it was obvious to me in the Autumn that he wanted to call time on things like furlough, but I suspect the rest of the cabinet were not ready or willing to do so. The budget delivery may not have been a gung-ho performance, but it was sobering. He basically called time on many of the costly restrictions, and paved the way for a lot more nasty surprises down the road, one of which has already been delivered to the NHS.
I agree. I have thought for a long time the debts from this won't be paid off within my lifetime
 

TheBeard

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Suppression of any rival science ie how many people really get Covid twice in a way detrimental to their health, and if releasing those vaccinated+those having taken it on the chin, would be harmful or not, is suppressing the economic recovery. It is truly a Bedwetters' Recession. To keep these people Locked up, at massive expense to their health, is truly as bad as Hitler. Millions falsely imprisoned now. Domestic Violence services at breaking point now, up 67%, and no beds available the last figure I've been struggling to actually ascertain (Radio 4). All more Lockdown carnage.
 

Ediswan

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I agree. I have thought for a long time the debts from this won't be paid off within my lifetime
Taking a long time to pay off government debt is not unheard of. Some debt from the South Sea Bubble in 1720 was only finally paid off in 2015. (See British 4% Consols.)
 

WelshBluebird

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I agree. I have thought for a long time the debts from this won't be paid off within my lifetime
Strictly speaking that isn't accurate as far as I am aware.

My understanding is that the vast majority of the COVID specific spending from the last year has already been essentially paid back by the Bank Of England printing more money (basically the government issues bonds to private organizations, the government obviously gets paid for those bonds, but pretty much right away the BoE prints new money and uses that money to buy back those bonds). Now by all means people can question that sensibility of that and bring up the consequences of such acts (the biggest is likely to be a rise in inflation). But to say simply that the government has £x debt from COVID spending isn't really true, at least to my understanding.

There is a good explanation as to how I understand it here - https://theconversation.com/the-uk-governments-covid-spending-may-lead-to-inflation-150405

By all means correct me if I am wrong!
 

Bantamzen

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Strictly speaking that isn't accurate as far as I am aware.

My understanding is that the vast majority of the COVID specific spending from the last year has already been essentially paid back by the Bank Of England printing more money (basically the government issues bonds to private organizations, the government obviously gets paid for those bonds, but pretty much right away the BoE prints new money and uses that money to buy back those bonds). Now by all means people can question that sensibility of that and bring up the consequences of such acts (the biggest is likely to be a rise in inflation). But to say simply that the government has £x debt from COVID spending isn't really true, at least to my understanding.

There is a good explanation as to how I understand it here - https://theconversation.com/the-uk-governments-covid-spending-may-lead-to-inflation-150405

By all means correct me if I am wrong!
That's maybe how it works in financial circles, but when it comes to looking at public sector finances governments expect cost cuts when public sector defects grow. The most visual example of these are the reduced pay offer to the NHS, and pay freezes elsewhere. The markets and banks may have developed complex systems to give the illusion of stability, on the ground where it counts deficit means exactly what it says on the tin.
 

Eyersey468

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Taking a long time to pay off government debt is not unheard of. Some debt from the South Sea Bubble in 1720 was only finally paid off in 2015. (See British 4% Consols.)

I believe the debts of WW1 were only paid off within the last few years and we are still paying off both the debts of WW2 and the loan America gave is just after WW2 to get us on our feet again
Strictly speaking that isn't accurate as far as I am aware.

My understanding is that the vast majority of the COVID specific spending from the last year has already been essentially paid back by the Bank Of England printing more money (basically the government issues bonds to private organizations, the government obviously gets paid for those bonds, but pretty much right away the BoE prints new money and uses that money to buy back those bonds). Now by all means people can question that sensibility of that and bring up the consequences of such acts (the biggest is likely to be a rise in inflation). But to say simply that the government has £x debt from COVID spending isn't really true, at least to my understanding.

There is a good explanation as to how I understand it here - https://theconversation.com/the-uk-governments-covid-spending-may-lead-to-inflation-150405

By all means correct me if I am wrong!
Thank you for that article, very interesting
 

bramling

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I think Rishi assumed covid would be just a "blip" of a few months and decided to throw money around like confetti to make a bit splash to get himself seen as the new Chancellor (with an eye on being the next PM). He is the one who reduced VAT for the hospitality and accommodation sector and the "eat out to spread covid" scheme, both with a view to encouraging people out to spend in pubs, restaurants, hotels, etc. It's all backfired spectacularly as he was in denial about a second wave. In Summer "he thought it was all over!". Even as late as 30 October, he was planning to stop the furlough scheme and had to do a last minute reprieve on the same day as Boris announced the November lockdown! Now we're so far down the line, Rishi is trapped as he can't risk the bad publicity to his image of pulling the rug from under the feet of those who've benefitted from his schemes. In his Budget last week he was a shadow of his performance in the March 20 Budget where he was very "up for it", gung-ho, etc as he didn't appreciate the enormity of the problem and just how much his schemes would cost.

Yes I think he is trapped. It’s difficult to stop something which has become extremely entrenched, without a backlash (at least to his own reputation). Meanwhile we have a government which seems to have a right hand that doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

I've mentioned before that I think Sunak has not been having the say in all of this, it was obvious to me in the Autumn that he wanted to call time on things like furlough, but I suspect the rest of the cabinet were not ready or willing to do so. The budget delivery may not have been a gung-ho performance, but it was sobering. He basically called time on many of the costly restrictions, and paved the way for a lot more nasty surprises down the road, one of which has already been delivered to the NHS.

The taxation “freezes” are already a nasty surprise (albeit not really a surprise), though it seems many don’t seem to quite understand what they actually are.

I’ve already heard a few times over the last week “It’s brilliant he’s managed to find a way of freezing tax rises until 2026”...
 

RuralRambler

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Yes I think he is trapped. It’s difficult to stop something which has become extremely entrenched, without a backlash (at least to his own reputation). Meanwhile we have a government which seems to have a right hand that doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.



The taxation “freezes” are already a nasty surprise (albeit not really a surprise), though it seems many don’t seem to quite understand what they actually are.

I’ve already heard a few times over the last week “It’s brilliant he’s managed to find a way of freezing tax rises until 2026”...

Yes, and Rishi himself made it sound that freezing the VAT registration threshold was a good thing for small business!

A bit like Gordon Brown many years ago saying that freezing the upper NIC limit was good for higher paid employees.

Sometimes (well often actually), I really don't think that Chancellors have the faintest clue about how the tax system works in practice.
 

bramling

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Yes, and Rishi himself made it sound that freezing the VAT registration threshold was a good thing for small business!

A bit like Gordon Brown many years ago saying that freezing the upper NIC limit was good for higher paid employees.

Sometimes (well often actually), I really don't think that Chancellors have the faintest clue about how the tax system works in practice.

I must admit I tend to think George Osborne has been the least worst recently. Javid might have been okay if he’s not had the bust-up with Boris.

I’m not sure to what extent Sunak is hamstrung by Boris. There’s certainly been an attempt to create his own brand, which I find cringeworthy, but I’m not sure that’s the full story. I have visions of furlough being grabbed by Boris.
 

brad465

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I must admit I tend to think George Osborne has been the least worst recently. Javid might have been okay if he’s not had the bust-up with Boris.

I’m not sure to what extent Sunak is hamstrung by Boris. There’s certainly been an attempt to create his own brand, which I find cringeworthy, but I’m not sure that’s the full story. I have visions of furlough being grabbed by Boris.
The amount of PR Sunak has been doing, especially via social media accounts and even once did the "How it started, how it's going" meme on Twitter about his supposed progress in life, is extreme in comparison to what other politicians do on social media. My feeling is he's trying to be down to earth to get his popularity up, while many of his bank chums and lobby influences understand he needs to work against them initially to build support should he become PM. Once that office is achieved we may find powerful influences getting their way more and would not be surprised if he finds a way (via a Chancellor he appoints once PM) to scrap the Corp tax rise, among other possible offers.

As for Javid I agree he never really had the chance to show himself, other than having the strongest backbone of any cabinet minister under Johnson, but he did reveal he hoped in his tenure to slowly cut income tax to 15% (about a 1% cut a year). There was no way I could see covid allowing that to materialise, while generally there comes a point that taxes are important and low taxes have their own problems for society.
 

bramling

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The amount of PR Sunak has been doing, especially via social media accounts and even once did the "How it started, how it's going" meme on Twitter about his supposed progress in life, is extreme in comparison to what other politicians do on social media. My feeling is he's trying to be down to earth to get his popularity up, while many of his bank chums and lobby influences understand he needs to work against them initially to build support should he become PM. Once that office is achieved we may find powerful influences getting their way more and would not be surprised if he finds a way (via a Chancellor he appoints once PM) to scrap the Corp tax rise, among other possible offers.

As for Javid I agree he never really had the chance to show himself, other than having the strongest backbone of any cabinet minister under Johnson, but he did reveal he hoped in his tenure to slowly cut income tax to 15% (about a 1% cut a year). There was no way I could see covid allowing that to materialise, while generally there comes a point that taxes are important and low taxes have their own problems for society.

Interesting point about Javid. The point about tax cuts is interesting, as that would have clearly been unachievable. Some interesting “expectation management” would have been necessary for sure.
 

brad465

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Interesting point about Javid. The point about tax cuts is interesting, as that would have clearly been unachievable. Some interesting “expectation management” would have been necessary for sure.
Here's one of several articles that talk about it:


Sajid Javid has said an income tax cut and a network of electric car-charging stations were in the budget he would have delivered, had he remained chancellor.

Javid told the Times he wanted to cut the basic rate from 20p to 18p from April and had plans to reduce the basic rate to 15p from 2025. He resigned during Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle after refusing to replace his advisers with No 10’s picks.

His successor, Rishi Sunak, is preparing to deliver his first budget on 11 March.

“I passionately believe that where you can afford it tax cuts are a good thing and now that we have a majority, we should be much more aggressive on the tax cuts for the long term … and go much further than our manifesto,” Javid said.

He revealed this at the end of February last year, before Covid restrictions were a thing anywhere in Europe, so I can very easily see this policy having to be binned were it put forward.

At the moment the triple tax lock staying as it is seems to be a high priority for Sunak, even with the change in circumstances; while the personal allowance freeze technically goes against this, it's not an outright tax rise. Come the run-up to the next election though we may see changes in policy. I don't know if the Tories can do this, but raising taxes like income tax can be sold if their purpose is critical/important, such as all extra revenue going into healthcare improvements.






Sunak himself is now worried about rising interest rates:


In this article (not quotable directly under copyright terms) he's talked about rising rates destabilising public finances as something that "keeps him up at night", while defending some of his budget measures.
 
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RuralRambler

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I must admit I tend to think George Osborne has been the least worst recently. Javid might have been okay if he’s not had the bust-up with Boris.

I’m not sure to what extent Sunak is hamstrung by Boris. There’s certainly been an attempt to create his own brand, which I find cringeworthy, but I’m not sure that’s the full story. I have visions of furlough being grabbed by Boris.

I don't know.

It was Osborne who introduced the child benefit claw back over £50k income - OK in theory but the rules are nonsensical, i.e. 1 partner over limit, clawback activated, both partners just under limit, no clawback despite household income being higher, and the fact that it's the higher earner liable to pay back even if paid to the lower earner.

Also Osborne who brought in the removal of personal allowance on earnings over £100k which led to a whopping 62% marginal tax rate that caused doctors and dentists to refuse extra shifts if they only "took home" 38% of the shift allowance (in fact even less if pension deductions too!).
 

Cdd89

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Also Osborne who brought in the removal of personal allowance on earnings over £100k which led to a whopping 62% marginal tax rate
This was actually introduced by Darling toward the end of their time in power. Like all stealth taxes, even though it is deeply unfair, there is nothing in it for anyone to remove it.
 

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