Budget 2018 ‘biggest giveaway since 2010’, says OBR – Politics live

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Budget 2018 ‘biggest giveaway since 2010’, says OBR – Politics live

Chancellor says ‘austerity finally coming to an end’, announcing £400m for ‘little extras’ for schools and £1.7bn for universal credit work allowances

The most important section of the budget red book (pdf) is the scorecard – the bit that tells you how much policy decisions will actually cost in years ahead (listed as spend, and a negative number) and how much they will save the exchequer (listed as tax, and a positive number). This is the chart that shows if decisions that were made to sound significant in the budget speech are actually rather minor in hard cash terms, or vice versa.

Here are the charts.

The spending commitments announced in today’s budget are the “largest discretionary fiscal loosening” since at least 2010, when the OBR was created.

There are plenty of giveaways, including:

raising the income tax personal allowance to £12,500, increasing the generosity of universal credit and the traditional one-year freeze in fuel duty rates. Public services spending outside health also gets a boost rising to £3.2 billion by 2022-23, so that it no longer falls in real terms over the forecast.

…a new tax on large digital businesses, a tightening of rules on people who work through their own company, the reversal of the 2016 decision to abolish Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed and the restriction of the NICs employment allowance to small businesses.

…the familiar Augustinian* pattern of a near-term giveaway followed by a longer-term takeaway

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