In the run up to today’s Budget, several announcements were trailed by press release, for example the increase in the National Minimum Wage from £8.91 to £9.50 for over 22s and the potential lifting of the public sector pay freeze.
There was the usual speculation about changes to pension tax relief and capital gains tax; however with the £12bn per annum Social Care Levy only having been announced in September, it seemed unlikely that there would be further tax increases. The questions really were: just how bad is the state of public finances; what measures could be taken to maintain the post-Covid recovery; and will interest rates need to rise to prevent inflation taking hold.
In the event, news of the recovering economy was reasonably good, with 6.5% growth pencilled in for 2021 and 6.00% for 2022. Inflation could average 4% next before falling again, so any rise in interest rates is likely to be modest.
The main points of interest were:
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