Hammond wants a 'bold' Autumn Budget 2017

The second of two sets of whispers ahead of Autumn Budget 2017 suggest Philip Hammond might have the stomach to extend the public sector’s off-payroll rules to the private sector.

According to the Sunday Times, the chancellor has asked colleagues to give him “bold” ideas for November 22nd, instead of safer ones they initially whispered about but he has rejected.

The big, bold measures now favoured by Mr Hammond, and designed to “reset” the public’s view of the government, could be funded by slashing certain tax relief for better off workers

Helping the young, such as by cancelling student loans or setting a low tax rate at the expense of older workers, whose pensions tax relief could be cut, was exampled by the Sunday paper.

Having been previously criticised for being risk-averse and “arguing like an accountant,” it seems Mr Hammond believes a radical Budget could revive his fortunes, and the country’s.

But it appears to be quite the contrast to a “safety first” set of Budgetary measures that the Mail on Sunday reported that No 10 Downing Street asked the chancellor to come up with.

This original memo from prime minister Theresa May’s office was said to extend to instructing that Mr Hammond’s offerings next month ‘have to be perfect.’

It is a veiled reference to the chancellor’s last fiscal outing -- Budget 2017 -- where a failure to consult helped his showpiece NIC hike get cancelled by the PM just eight days later.

Responding to reports that some DUP MPs and pro-Brexit Conservatives want Mr Hammond to now be fired, or demoted, Tory grandee Lord Heseltine defended at the weekend: “He knows what he believes, he says it and he sticks with it.”

Editor's Note:  NATO Summit Wales 2014   image by  Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Oct 17, 2017
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