So, what should we make of Philip Hammond’s first and perhaps last, Spring Budget? Let’s remember there is a second Budget coming in the autumn, and indeed in this Budget there was relatively little new.
We heard quite a lot about things you would expect the Chancellor to focus on; productivity improvement, investment, we saw money for social care. We saw money for technical training and we saw some tax rises too, in particular a focus on the self-employed and business owners those receiving dividends who both saw quite a substantial increase, that’s perhaps because of the tax lock which ties the Chancellor’s hands in terms of the areas where he can raise tax.
There are also quite a lot of measures coming through from earlier Budgets and Autumn Statements. Overall very few changes in this budget, but perhaps a few harbingers of the future. The Chancellor did clearly signal that he sees anomalies in the system and the treatment between the employed and self-employed and I suspect he will be returning to that area again – perhaps in the autumn or perhaps thereafter.