Think of the UK public finances as a simple business.
For 2017/18 tax revenues are expected to be around £744 billion.
The expenses of running the UK are expected to be £814 billion.
The UK is running at an expected loss of £70 billion and it is expected the ‘books’ will not be balanced until 2025 and this is added to our debt mountain of at least £1 trillion.
So what can our Chancellor do?
The answer is not a lot – “There’s no chance – probably – of getting any tax increases through parliament,” Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
But, said IFS director Paul Johnson, Mr Hammond was now faced with finding billions for the NHS, for higher public sector pay and to halt punishing benefit cuts.
So we know this will not be a tax give away budget and where possible taxes will be raised or ‘squeezed’ and in the meantime all ‘the experts’ will be voicing advice from cutting Stamp Duty to building on the Green Belt to stimulate the economy and we have yet to experience the fallout from leaving the EU.
There are two things which are probably certain, public borrowing will increase and the date when the ‘books’ will balance will disappear into the future and beware of the Budget small print – my guess is it will bite.
Director Myers Clark