Long awaited, and in the end overtaken by global events, new Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his first budget on Wednesday 11th March 2020. Just weeks in to the top job, and with Coronavirus requiring him to think on his feet, it was hardly a relaxed period of planning for Mr Sunak.
The Chancellor certainly ensured it was ‘one to remember’ with some huge commitments, representing a very bold and atypical Tory approach. But this was never going to be a straight forward budget due to the volume of competing priorities it needed to address, namely:
- Brexit – Providing post Brexit stability whilst delivering hope and investment for life beyond the EU
- Levelling-Up – Justifying the faith of the electorate that have ‘lent the Tories their vote’ in the hope of more equality between North/South and the top and bottom of the earnings spectrum
- Manifesto pledges – We can all recite the BoJo mantras on nurse numbers, new hospitals and police officers, but what do these look like financially
- Continued fiscal probity – Balancing a need to achieve all of the above, whilst avoiding a return to the ‘casino’ days and accepting that the global economy is still far from stable
- Coronavirus – Providing short to mid-term support for the economy, NHS and individuals
It’s a much used phrase, but like every budget that has gone before, the devil will undoubtedly be in the detail for Mr Sunak’s maiden budget and lest we forget, this is only part one. The infrastructure review (budget part 2) has been delayed but is expected to contain details of more major spending.
All this begs the question of where will the money come from to support it? The budget was big on spend, short on income, with expected taxation taking a back seat. So, either borrowing will rise heavily, which is what the OBR is predicting, or we will see a rash of tax rises in the Autumn statement, when Mr Sunak will have had longer to compute the figures and we should (fingers crossed) be on the other side of the Coronavirus issue.
To find out more about the specific announcements made in the Budget 2020, you can download the Evans Weir Budget guide below or why not give us a call to discuss your specific situation.