Chancellor says, ‘Game On Keir!’ with ‘Budget’ aimed at the future

When Jeremy Hunt stood up at the dispatch box last month, he effectively kicked off next spring’s election when he drew a line in the sand and dared Labour to cross it

Chancellor says, ‘Game On Keir!’ with ‘Budget’ aimed at the future

This was an autumn statement with something for everyone. Unlike most budgets where the good news comes with a distant date where it’ll take effect, it has measures that’ll be put in place straight away, as well as aiming at some big pay outs in the future.

Such a bold collection of forward-looking measures shows the current top Tories have not yet booked Rishi’s moving truck.

I might be in the minority in business circles, but increasing minimum wages and putting up the money for more apprentices is the right thing to do. The personal National Insurance cut is 2% for most – for those earning between £12.5K and £50k – puts money in pockets and shop tills.

I don’t even mind about the benefit increases after the Chancellor’s recent fighting talk on the consequences of not seriously looking for work. And, of course, pensioners deserve every penny of their increase and the retention of the triple lock.

But the true declaration of war for the coming election came by way of a £20 billion a year business bonanza allowing firms to offset the full cost of investment in plant, machinery, technology and IT equipment.

As someone putting the final touches to a new plumbing and home services business, We Fix, – watch this space for more news soon – this is great news personally, but on a grander scale it is a potential game changer over the next decade. Think about it – we’re talking existing firms, ones that are not yet trading, and then there’s inward investment.

And whether Hunt’s got a decent set of tarot cards, or the combined brains of the Treasury team seem to have got their economic sums right for once, he seems to have got the mood music spot on when it comes to how businesses are feeling right now and what impetus they need to move forward.

Just a week after he unveiled these measures the latest Lloyds Bank business optimism tracker was published, which, after the last couple of years, is a sight for sore eyes.

Falling inflation and speculation that interest rates have peaked have boosted business confidence back to levels not seen since before the energy crisis, which was sparked by the conflict in Ukraine.

According to the research, business leaders are becoming more positive about the health of the wider economy, with this confidence feeding through into recruitment plans for the coming year.

The survey of 1,200 companies across industries was carried out between 1st and 15th November before the chancellor’s autumn statement. It’ll be very interesting to see how much confidence levels have risen in the next tracker as a result of the measures Hunt’s introducing.

I know this was, strictly speaking an autumn statement, but I think it was plain for all to see that this was a proper Conservative budget, from a proper Conservative chancellor.

It’s also an incentive to entrepreneurial businesses, those that drive the economy forward, that they have been given some more tools to grow their enterprises and recruit more people, including, of course, apprentices.

As we step closer to 2024, we need to apply the bucketloads of entrepreneurial sprit, this country is renowned for, to move away from a period of economic flatlining and back to growth.  

I’ll be doing my bit with We Fix It, and I’m sure so many of you will be doing the same thing.

Enjoy the break at Christmas if you can get one, because next year, we’ll be going at it flat out!

Charlie Mullins
Charlie Mullins

Share via
Copy link