The first Budget since October 2021 was widely expected to be an uneventful affair. Five months ago, the then new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, presented an Autumn Statement that was more of a Budget than many formal Budgets.
Not only did his Autumn Statement result in a greater increase in the tax burden than most Budgets – £55 billion by 2027/28 – it was also accompanied by a Finance Bill.
With an election likely in autumn 2024, Mr Hunt’s ‘Budget for growth’ looked set to be a steady-as-you-go fiscal non-event. Yet it turns out that over the next three tax years, Mr Hunt will hand back about £65 billion of the extra tax that he had planned to raise last November.Download