The rich get Rishi as Sunak today delivered the bankers’ budget complete with a champers tax cut as the cost of living is set to soar, fear of the fastest rise in household bills for 30 years and 3million on Universal Credit facing ‘dark hole’
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Rishi Sunak today condemned millions of poor people to more misery with a Budget that failed to tackle the cost of living crisis.
The Chancellor gave little support to families struggling with soaring energy bills, tax rises and fears inflation may climb at its fastest in 30 years.
But Mr Sunak slashed taxes on sparkling wine and cut air passenger duty for domestic flights. Labour ’s Rachel Reeves said: “Bankers on short flights sipping champagne will be cheering.”
Millions of Brits struggling in the cost of living crisis who expected a helping hand from Rishi Sunak ’s Budget were left disappointed.
The Chancellor did little to boost those hit by soaring energy bills, tax rises and inflation that may rise at its fastest for 30 years.
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But he did help out the rich by slashing taxes on sparkling wines and air passenger duty on domestic flights.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves accused Mr Sunak of “pickpocketing” the poor.
She said: “This Budget did nothing to deal with the spiralling cost of living.
“At least bankers on short-haul flights sipping champagne will be cheering today.
“This country deserves better, but they’ll never get it with this Chancellor who gives with one hand, but takes so much more with the other.
“The Prime Minister distracts people with his wild promises.
“All the while, the Chancellor dips his hand in their pockets.”
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Mr Sunak also boasted about extra cash for schools and local government.
But that comes after a decade of Tory cuts to education and town halls that have crippled schools and councils.
Mr Sunak reaped the benefits of stronger than expected growth forecasts as the Covid-hit economy recovered.
Treasury coffers were boosted by billions through VAT receipts, but households and businesses face major tax hikes with the overall burden reaching its highest level since just after the war.
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The Office for Budget Responsibility said inflation could reach more than 4% – twice the Bank of England’s target – pushing up prices in the shops this winter.
But experts warn it may climb as high as 5.4% next year.
It threatens the first major rise in base rates – and mortgage rates – in more than a decade. The OBR has predicted the base rate could hit 3.5% – up from 0.1% now.
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Paul Johnson, director of Institute for Fiscal Studies, warned: “The expectation for household income increases over the next five years will be pretty stagnant.
“So I’m really sorry to say that actually we’re not going to be feeling much better off over the next several years.”
After getting to his feet at 12.30pm to deliver his speech, Mr Sunak then did a major U-turn on Universal Credit, which was slashed by £20 a week recently.
A cut to the taper, which is how much claimants lose for every hour worked over the allowance, will mean it falls from 63p in the pound to 55p.
The Treasury had already announced a national minimum wage rise and the end of the public sector pay freeze, but workers will still face a real terms cut in wages due to inflation.
Other announcements included a freeze on fuel duty, a pledge to restore foreign aid spending from 2024/25 and a cut in the levy on bank profits from 8% to 3%.