/ Money

Update: Autumn Budget 2018

On Monday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, will set out the UK Government’s proposals for tax and spending for the next financial year. Here’s what we want to see, based on our campaigning through 2018.

Update: 29/10/2018

We’re covering the latest announcements from the Budget here.

You can also follow the updates from Which? Money on Twitter.


Many of the Chancellor’s proposals in Monday’s budget will apply across the whole of the UK, however the governments in Wales and Scotland will set out their own proposals for public spending and in the case of the Scottish Government personal and property tax levels in the coming weeks.

Autumn Budget 2018: get all the latest news here

Over the last year, consumer expenditure was more than £105 billion per month, and is continuing to grow. Consumer confidence, critical to a strong economy, has stabilised after a year of falling and, on average consumers feel slightly more positive than negative about the outlook for their finances in the year ahead. However, it’s important that the Government continues to take practical steps to support consumers.

Here we set out three things the Chancellor could announce to help consumers.

Access to cash

We’re expecting the Chancellor to announce something on the future of digital payments and cash. Although the use of cash has declined, it’s still relied upon by millions of people and businesses across the UK, and we’re seeing people struggling to access cash through the double blow of bank branch and cashpoint closures, which are happening at an alarming rate.

That’s why we are calling on the Government to intervene by placing a duty on the Payment Systems Regulator to protect access to cash and ensure communities aren’t suddenly stripped of this crucial payment method.

Consumer enforcement

Consumers must be confident that their consumer rights, including requirements for fair trading practices, safety and quality standards, are enforced, and they are able to obtain redress when something goes wrong.

The UK has one of the strongest consumer rights frameworks in the world, but the public and private enforcement systems that support it are no longer fit for purpose. The system is under strain at a time when the UK’s exit from the EU makes it even more essential that there is a robust system in place that can deal with the complex threats facing consumers.

This is certainly an issue on the Government’s radar, and while it might be a bit premature, an announcement to boost investment in modernising the consumer enforcement regime, ensuring it is centrally resourced to underpin the UK’s consumer rights framework, would be very welcome.

Pensions Dashboard

From revealing the pension freedom reforms to the first commitment to the much-needed pensions dashboard, there’s hardly a Budget that passes without speculation about pension changes to help people better engage with their retirement savings.

We’ve been calling on the Government to set out the time-frame for implementing the dashboard since the start of the year. We want to ensure that all pension schemes provide clear, comprehensive data through the dashboard so consumers can finally see all their savings in one place.

The Government must also ensure that the state pension is shown on the dashboard, and set a clear framework to ensure that the industry-led dashboard actually works for consumers. We know the Government is set to publish its direction of travel soon, so we’ll be looking out for it next week.

We’ll be updating this Convo throughout Monday as the announcements are made. What do you want to see from the 2018 Budget?


With effect from 6th April 2017, the government requires public sector end-clients of contractors/consultants (usually working via limited companies) to determine whether or not these workers are employees for tax purposes. There is no downside for these end-clients to determine that the workers are employees for tax purposes. The result is that these public sector end-clients have made blanket decisions, wrongly finding that these workers are employees for tax purposes. These contractors/consultants suffer all the disadvantages of being employed for tax purposes without enjoying any of the benefits of being employed, such as paid holiday and sick pay etc.

In the forthcoming budget, the government plans to extend this flawed system to the private sector, possibly with effect from 6th April 2019. If it does so, then it must ensure that any worker whom an end-client determines as being an employee for tax purposes is also treated as an employee for every purpose, including paid holiday and sick pay. This would ensure that private sector end-clients make a careful and considered decision about each worker, rather than lazily making blanket decisions that all its contractors/consultants are employees for tax purposes.

Way back under Thatcher the Inland Revenue enforced anyone working solely for one company or in a substantial manner were deemed to be employed by that contractor – so what has changed , why and when ?

Yes, contractors are employed solely by their limited company, but the limited companies supplies their services to multiple end-clients (usually consecutively, not concurrently).

That is OK when the person does work for multiple employers but when they use this method and only essentially work for one employer – just like an employee – then I think it should be stopped. I’d like to see the whole employment taxation system reformed and simplified. There are perceived to be too many loopholes that can be exploited by those with the means to pay for “advice”.

Malcolm, what do you mean by “work for multiple employers“? Do you mean consecutively or concurrently? If you mean consecutively, during what period do you believe that the number of employers should be counted? One month, six months, one tax year, two years? This isn’t defined in law, except that if the worker expects to spend more than two years at the same client site, then he or she loses the right to offset travel expenses against income tax, as the place of work is deemed to be permanent.

But in any case, my point is not about whether such workers should be deemed to be employees, but that where they are deemed to be employees for tax purposes, then they should correspondingly enjoy all the benefits of employment. Many such workers might work on a highly-paid contract for six months for example, which might be their only work during a period of two tax years. Under existing tax arrangements, they can spread out the income from that contract over two tax years while they remain an employee of their limited company, with a new tax allowance in each tax year. Under the government’s proposals, the worker would be clobbered with tax allowances for only one tax year, and receive no income from their limited company in the second tax year, during which they would claim unemployment benefits.

I know a number of folk who find it advantageous (i.e. tax “efficient”) to work as companies, so they pay less on their company incomes than they would if they received equivalent payments as wages.

I have no objection in principle to that, but I think the taxation of both wages and profits should be reasonably fair and even handed.

A “Consultant” works for multiple employers, often consecutively, selling their services as a “proper” business. I’d distinguish this from someone who sells their services to just one employer and, if we need to pin down a minimum timescale, I’d suggest 12 months.

I’d like to see the whole income taxation system revised so that artificial devices to minimise tax are simply not necessary.

I have worked alongside contractors with their own limited companies. Not only were they on roughly twice my salary as an employee, they boasted of how their accountants got them out of paying taxes – claiming for things an employee would have to pay for out of their salary. Travel to and from work, work clothes, so-called home office, furniture, equipment, electricity and heating for home office, cleaner for home office, meal out with a taxi? save receipts as entertaining clients.

Then there are people with multiple companies limiting their income to under the VAT threshold of £85,000.

Then there are the self-employed building trade and services who fit into the above.

Basically, there are an awful lot of people who get out of paying their dues.

Alfa, those contractors who used tax-dodging schemes such as employee benefit trusts and bogus loans are now facing the music. HMRC is clamping down on them and billing them for years of unpaid tax.

I believe that HMRC rules require all businesses under the same ownership to operate under the same VAT scheme (e.g. flat-rate scheme). But in any case there’s no competitive advantage to contractors of not being VAT-registered, as nearly all contractors’ end-clients are VAT-registered themselves. I have never come across a contractor being more competitive because of not being registered for VAT, even where the end-clients are banks, who despite being VAT-registered, have insufficient VAT outputs against which to offset their substantial VAT inputs.

I agree alfa. Many can abuse these tax claims. I wonder whether tax relief should be removed from all plant and equipment, entertaining, travel and suchlike so that its purchase should be decided on its true contribution to the business model and be taken out of profits. That might increase costs a little in some businesses – or slightly reduce the savings better equipment might make – but I’d rather that than have these purchases subsidised by the taxpayer, who generally have to fund their own lifestyles in full. Taxes could then be reduced a little, or the tax take spent on more deserving causes.

This is just a thought to throw into the discussion. 🙂

As expected, the Chancellor did announce that the off-payroll rules would be extended from the public sector to the private sector (with effect from 6th April 2020), but there was no mention made of the crucial question as to whether the affected workers will be treated as employees for all purposes, not only for tax purposes. There is nothing about this crucial detail in the budget documentation that was published afterwards on the gov.uk web site. Absolutely useless.

Less tax cuts that only benefit the top rich people , use the money to get rid of food banks, stay in the EU where we as a people would have a chance to have freedom of movement and an incentive for EU workers to come here to assist the labour shortages in potato , fruit industries and help staff the NHS.

anthony says:
26 October 2018

The UK voted out and the majority want a clean break from the corrupt socialist elitist organization called the EU.

You make a very good point about freedom of movement. The United Kingdom as a country and the British as a people have benefited fantastically from the EU’s freedom of movement of labour. It has meant that:

– EEA nationals have been coming to the UK to do low-end jobs that British people don’t want to do (such as those you cite above), following which they spend their low wages in the UK, paying tax and contributing to the UK economy.

– British people have been able to go to other EEA countries and work in high-end jobs that the locals there do not have the expertise to do, following which most return to the UK and repatriate their high residual income to the UK, where they spend it. I know plenty of people who have done this.

This works out so nicely for the UK economy and the British people. I don’t understand why the electorate voted in 2016 to throw away this huge advantage, except for xenophobic and nationalistic reasons.

I’m not convinced that they spend their wages here, I know many foreign nationals who sent their wages back home abroad to their families as they were poor. So therefore I am not sure that it benefits us very much, unless this can be proved with statistics but even these can be manipulated.

K, most EU27 nationals in the UK are on minimum wage and have very little disposable income after paying the high costs of living in the UK, especially accommodation. Those who send money back to their countries of origin are the exception, not the rule, and stories of this practice and of EU27 nationals claiming benefits are vastly exaggerated by xenophobic anti-EU quitters.

But we in the UK have a 25% capacity in our workforce (Government figures for 2017, unchanged 25% capacity for 5th year in a row), meaning over 16 MILLION working people already here cannot get more than part time work – millions more on minimum salary, over 18 million requiring in-work benefits, yet EU STILL pirating our company’s to re-locate – 3 million UK full-time-jobs jobs gone to EU in the last 2 decades. ALSO EU raising budget contributions for 2021 by 31% and NO UK REBATE, so our direct cost would raise from net 13 Billion to net 20 Billion or more, plus the billions of EU duty we pay to Brussels on all our non-EU imports, plus billions we pay in ‘EU Budget shortfalls’, fines, penalties, and to EU charities. PLUS EU is decided on morphing into United States of Europe, with loss of ALL our independence if we remain, loss of ALL our armed forces, trade freedoms, independent currency and more – ALL at a time when A.I. is taking hundreds of thousands of jobs every year and accelerating, at a time we are already drastically over-populated. Our nation needs to leave, trade with the 3x more successful and 15x larger than EU” Global Community”, retrain all those already here to fit jobs we do have, use our universities to train doctors dentists nurses teachers and all other ‘always essential” specialists, and restrict further immigration until all those already here have a full time job with sensible salary

Another Poor looser comment, its about time employers started training UK people to fill their vacancies, as they done in the past, and put UK worker first for a change. As for the NHS, I worked there for 15 years and the money wasted by poor management decisions is staggering, with failing “managers” moving from one trust to another perpetuating their incompetence.
PS: The last time I saw potatoes being lifted it didn’t require any people other than two tractor drivers, and I’m sure we have enough home grown talent to do that.

It is proven now, that the great majority of the EEA nationals living here contribute nothing, and are a burdon on the UK economy. They have overcrowded our workforce to 31 million, but UK does not have 32 million full time jobs – over 16 Million people can only find part time work, over 18 million people now on in-work benefits and paying no NIC or PAYE – leaving a 25% capacity in our workforce (Government figure for 2017, but static for last 5 years). Those who pretend this is good for UK are invested in companies who benefit from population explosion coupled with artificially cheap labour, and they do not want a fairer society.

Gordon, it’s not about British citizens lacking training to do these low-end jobs. They’re just not interested in fruit picking or hospitality. You’ve missed the point totally.

Frank, where is it “proven now, that the great majority of the EEA nationals living here contribute nothing“? This sounds like a xenophobic comment, which you have failed to support with any evidence.

Voting out without knowing the cost is blind logic.
Please do not say it was a democratic vote or that everyone knew what they were voting for.
A democratic vote can only be classed as such if and when there was democratic information on which to vote. Even now NOBODY knows the cost and conditions of leaving.

The fault lies fair and square in the Tories lap. They have made it a party issue instead of a national issue, and they have made a pigs ear of it from start to finish. They made the only official groups – leave and remain – formed from the two halves of the Tory party. You could not dream up a worse situation.

They should have formed an all party group who would then appoint a leader and executive committee. for both leave and remain. The entire country is split due to lack of proper information.

A referendum should never have been called without first establishing the facts on both situations.

I would ask which politician – if any – buys a S/H car or an existing house – based ONLY on the word of an agent ? I think I am safe in saying NONE.

First you read the sales sheet/advert which attracts your interest > then you look at it > then appoint a professional to do a detailed inspection with a report. Then and then only do you decide to buy or walk away.

And that is where we are with Brexit. No better and no worse.

You are obviously blind to the obvious.
In the past school kids and mothers in the main, spent their holidays in the farms :-

Carrot creeping/weeding/ thining; potato scrating [before mechanicl gathering], same with pea piking. Fruit and veg same.

But some idiot ruled it was cheap labour and exploited the children. Few forigners to be seen. Then the EU opend the door to free movement which caused many EU countries where pay and conditions were so bad it led to them flooding over. Living in poor accomodation gangers bringing over gangs of labour to work at very low pay. But even that permited them to live here and stil send 50% or more of earnings back home and that was more than they could earn in their home land.

Why have they all started flooding back home ? Not because of Brexit; it is because of the devaluation of Sterling. Originally £100 = €150 meaning it was 50% or more better to work in England but now £100 = €101 – €110. Advantage lost as inflation is eating into their pay.

Ban gangs working for less than minimum wage and permit children/students to work and permit unemployed to work on seasonal work – I doubt if there would be a shortage of takers.

Frank Ashbourn quotes some figures. For example “meaning over 16 MILLION working people already here cannot get more than part time work“. “ over 18 million people now on in-work benefits

Figures from the ONS show that 32.4m are in work. 8.54m are part time (2.25m men, 6.29m women of whom many may do it from choice). Benefits are paid to 6.8m of working age; as there are 1.4m unemployed this infers that 5.4m are in work and receive some benefits.

Here is some information on the contribution immigrants make. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/immigration-uk-economy-what-are-the-benefits-stats-theresa-may-amber-rudd-tory-conference-speeches-a7346121.html
However, I see no reason why UK nationals could not take on the jobs that might become vacant; simply pay a sensible wage and we might have to spend a little more in response.

You are out of touch.
Due to the low cost of living and low pay of many Easten EU countries and originally the better exchange rate [£100 = €150] it was very advantagious to work in the UK and plenty to send back home. Not now, hense the shortage of not just seasonal labour but nurses and doctors to name but a few.

It is on record too that Indian an Parkistanies on benefits sent money home. In one case, enough for their parents to build a grand mansion.

In principle yes it all sounds great, but as we are now finding out there are hidden costs.

Our car industry wiil eventually move as will the financial sector to mention but a few.

We need to be properly informed of all the twists and turns before jumping ship.

Where is all our money going ?

Just about all the Nationalised services are owned by forign companies – who have raised costs substantially every year – profits after nominal tax taken out of the UK. Profits that could have been ploghed back into UK.

We are leaking money hand over fist yet this government is hell bent on attracting yet more companies and many with induced payments. HMS economy has a huge number of holes in it and it is sinking.

They are not prepared to work for the pitence the gangers pay which is substantially less than the basic wage.

There never was a shortage in past years. It was a great family afair

The point is if an EU worker is willing to do it for that pay we are giving too much unemployment benefit to the British OR the farmers aren’t paying enough.

In a previous post you said even now nobody knows the outcome, now you say our car industry will move. Crystal ball started working?. Sounds like project fear again.

Trying to reduce deficit Labour left behind.

Must have something about the access to cash machines. I have family in rural Gloucestershire, where the only bank has closed and the only 2 cash machines are in supermarkets, with a threat of one of them going soon. This means their nearest cash point will be at least 5 miles away and where there is no bus service. Feel there should be access for Europeans to come to UK for work whatever happens to Brexit.

Susan, the problem with cash machines is that fewer people are using them. Cash machine operators receive revenue from your card issuer each time you withdraw cash. As fewer people withdraw cash, the machine operators receive less revenue, meaning that the machine eventually becomes unprofitable. This is only going to get worse. In some parts of London, almost nobody uses cash. Once this trend spreads to the rest of the UK where the density of people (and cash machines) is lower, you’re going to be left with very few cash machines, and the few that are left will charge you to withdraw because the industry-wide fee paid by your card issuer to the machine operator won’t cover the average cost per withdrawal.

You are missing the point, Banks should provide cash machines if they are not going to provide branches. I recently closed a savings account and they sent me a cheque, what do I do with it?

B F Davis, I sympathise with you about receiving a cheque. I think that the use of cheques should be banned except where both payer and payee have previously expressly agreed to this payment method. I find it very annoying when a company sends me a cheque, but fortunately there’s now a solution. Many banks’ smartphone apps now allow you to pay in a cheque by taking a photo of the cheque. I have done this a couple of times, which has greatly reduced the annoyance of receiving a payment by cheque.

But I disagree that banks should have to provide cash machines when they close branches. Look at banks that have no physical branches or cash machines. Their customers are often the most satisfied with their banking services.

I sometimes receive cheques in the post.

Because I have a bank account cheques are easily dealt with, either by posting them to my bank or by popping and paying them in in person.

In Gloucester, the main branch of my bank has gone all high tech and includes self service tills where you can scan and pay in cheques. I found them about as scary as those horrible self check in machines you get at airports, but once you know how, they are OK to use.

If you don’t have a bank account that will receive cheques, then receiving cheques can be a great inconvenience.

Also, if you “don’t do” internet banking, then being able to pay by cheque is still a great option.

Almost all post offices will accept cheque deposits for both business and personal accounts with many banks. https://www.postoffice.co.uk/everydaybanking

Malcolm says post offices accept cheques, lucky you for having a local post office.

Those of us who can afford to buy our own homes are lucky indeed, because we can choose were to live, taking due account for facilities that we want to have nearby.

Derek, it’s a contradiction to say “Because I have a bank account cheques are easily dealt with, either by posting them to my bank or by popping and paying them in in person“. Posting a cheque involves a cost, and the effort of buying a stamp and envelope, and visiting a branch involves potential travel costs and often considerable time. Neither are easy compared to receiving a bank transfer or depositing a cheque via a mobile app. Cheques are a particularly onerous way of receiving payments.

BF Davies, there are around 8500 bank branches and 11500 post offices to give banking services. Many people will be near one or the other. The PO stepped in, with the cooperation of the banks, to increase the access to banking services.

NFH – using a mobile app is only easy if you have a smart phone.

Not everyone does.

Also, many of us enjoy excuses to get out of the house and benefit from the healthy exercise of a walk to the nearest letter box / post office / bank.

Derek, I agree with you that not everyone has a smartphone. That’s why I wrote above that I think that the use of cheques should be banned except where both payer and payee have previously expressly agreed to this payment method.

Whilst you might have spare time to visit a bank or post office to deposit a cheque, most people are working during banks’ and post offices’ opening hours. Even if they are lucky enough to have a bank branch or post office near their place of work, at lunchtimes the queues can be horrendous.

Post offices offer longer opening hours, including at least Saturday mornings, than many banks and have more than doubled the places available to conduct basic banking. We cannot plant a post office, bank branch or ATM on everyone’s doorstep, but means of operating a bank account have been made far easier for the vast majority of people. We need to look at imaginative ways of dealing the the remainder.

NFH – I realise that you were not seeking the outright abolition of cheques, so I agree that consensus and choice are good to have.

The last cheque I had to pay in was for £5.28, so it was hardly urgent.

Derek, it’s the small cheques for amounts like £5.28 that annoy me most, because the effort required to deposit them is disproportionate to the amount received.

You’ve got 6 months to deposit it, in which time you are surely likely to have been near your bank branch, ATM or a post office more than once?

I believe that there exists a postal service which might be a solution. Two of our banks provide pre-paid envelopes. However another, Lloyds, does not. Guess which one was not used to receive an Inland Revenue refund.

Malcolm, you’re right that the payee has 6 months to deposit the cheque, but during this time, the cheque is likely to be forgotten about or lost. That’s the disingenuous reason that many businesses continue to settle their debts using these archaic pieces of paper instead of bank transfer.

NFH – Are you not ignoring the fact that people may have different account numbers and details, and that many would not wish to share details with a debtor?

Seems absurd that you would be required to provide such details. When sent the cheque you can easily pay it in by post or calling at a bank. If you decide to be disorganised and lose it then it is a faff but why change systems to suit the disorganised?

By the way you can of course send the out-of-date cheque back to the writer and ask for it to be re-dated or re-issued. Not a cheap option for any firm.

Patrick, why would anyone not want to share their sort code and account number? These are for receiving money, unlike debit card numbers which are for spending money.

It’s a common myth that there’s a risk to sharing sort codes and account numbers. If there was a risk, then it wouldn’t be standard practice for businesses to disclose their sort code and account number on every invoice in order to receive payment.

….or on personal cheques you give anyone.

Scrap or reduce foreign aid to get our health & social care back on track. Introduce a fee (£200) for all the drink induced cases that casualty departments have to deal with. Prosecute telephone timewasters to the emergency services that we see about on TV

P CLARK says:
26 October 2018


GIVE our foreign aid to NHS and armed forces, to fund an emergencies capability so that whenever an emergency arises in the World, UK is there with pop-up hospitals, pop-up dormitories, food aid, clean-up and search and rescue, re-establishment of water, electricity etc – MUCH MORE kudos for less expense, and between emergencies our NHS and armed forces enjoy being better equipped and more capable

Good ideas, Frank, but I have another proposition for our Armed Forces (specifically the Royal Navy) – the engine of global prosperity is sea freight and it is well known that there is a pirate problem in the Indian Ocean (also around Indonesia and the Philippines), so why not hire out RN resources to protect shipping? Generate revenue and establish a global reputation for doing the right thing. As the song goes “Rule, Britannia….”

You left out Nigeria and the Malacca Straits for pirate activity. There are problems that most nations insist they control adequately their territorial waters. Off Somalia and the Yemen there is an international force of warships [including China] operating.

Small teams of military and rigging boarding defences is often employed particularly on passenger ships. Nigeria is probably THE hot spot.

Cash access must be kept as many charities and small businesses depend on it. The usage of cards is expensive for retailers who have card payment facilities; the more cash outlets the cheaper our purchases will be. I have noticed that two local small businesses put up their prices when they got a charge machine.

We should be using cash more not less in our transactions.

Claire, have you considered the cost of cash? It has to be taken to the bank, which might not be a short walk away. Accepting card payments doesn’t need to cost more than a flat 1.69% (e.g. sumup.co.uk), and shopping around can give a retailer a much better deal.

The cost saving for a retailer in accepting cash is not in the handling costs but the opportunity for tax evasion.

Wrong! I run a very small business teaching music – part-time, since I am now 8 years into retirement, and of course pension is not sufficient to cover bills and live a little, rather than just about survive. My total cash intake from pupils comes to about £5000 p.a., less expenses – insurance providing music maintaining instruments etc., and income tax = approx. £1000. I have never evaded tax in my life, thank-you very much. As there is no way I could meet the minimum 100 transactions a month, my rate would be 5%, plus the cost of buying a card terminal, or renting, which costs a minimum of £15 per month. This would probably make my small business unviable.

That is a myth. It costs more for retailers to bank cash than it does to accept credit and debit cards!

Anne, I wouldn’t describe your sort of business as a “retailer“, which my comment above about tax evasion related to specifically.

In your business, there’s no need to accept card payments or cash, as you could accept bank transfers, Revolut, Pingit or Paym, all of which would cost you nothing to receive.

NFH – I think it is ridiculous for you to suggest that small businesses (such as Anne’s) could ever be either sensible or viable if they started to refuse cash payments.

Derek, my point is that Anne doesn’t need to accept card payments (unlike a retailer), and that cash isn’t the only option. I cited four methods by which she could receive instant payments free-of-charge.

I worked at a rather good pre-loved bookshop and ran it alone on most Saturdays. It on average would take low tens of pounds most of the week and on my Saturdays perhaps two to four hundred pounds.

Paying the staff in cash and for buying books over the counter it would be hard to think of a simpler system than cash. And that is how it operated 95% of the time. Cheques were used the rest of the time.

Customers without cash were sent thirty steps to the nearest ATM to get some money. I cannot conceive how another system would have been more efficient or cheaper

There is no sensible reason for changes to the benefits system to include delays. By way of analogy, if you get a new washing machine the shop doesn’t take the old one away and five weeks later bring the new one. They bring the new one at the same time as removing the old one.

The NHS and our Schools are both desperately underfunded and people generally have spare money they could use to fund these. Insead they choose to use their cash replacing mobile phones, cars, TVs and buying new clothes and holidays ridiculoulsy frequently. The Chancellor should put up income tax and reduce the higher tax threshold. Of course he won’t have the courage and many people will claim that they are ‘stretched’ but it isn’t true. Only we citizens can make this a country fit to live in but most put their hands over their ears and pretend the success of our public services is not their responsibility and the bad things are someone elses fault.

I agree but put up VAT as that applies to imports as well as British goods. Income tax is jobs.

Care needs to be taken with sales taxes like VAT because, as “regressive” measures any increases can unfairly impact those on low incomes.

That said, I do like the idea of taxing consumption not income.

One advantage in favour of Brexit is that we will not be constrained by EU rules on VAT, so we could eliminate sales taxes on “essential” goods and services and ramp up taxes on “luxury” goods and services.

Pollution. The govt must decide which way it wants to go in the petrol/diesel debate.
Are we concerned about CO2 only or are we concerned about NOX, or both. If the govt announces an increasing level of tax each year starting next year on diesel, then people will steer clear of new diesels.
I need to buy a car but I have no indication from the govt on which way it is going to lean, so uncertainty – limbo.
Why are the govt so down on private landlords. They provide a service – renting out homes to people who cannot afford to buy, which is all of us at some stages in our life. Why 3% extra stamp duty ?
It does not make sense.
We need far more new affordable flats/houses etc.
In the West Country we are seeing farmers giving land at an agricultural price (£10,000 per acre) to local community land trusts who are building good quality affordable homes to rent or for part ownership. These properties go to people in the area who were born locally, live and work locally, but cannot afford to buy.
The fact that the land is so cheap means the homes are affordable and so teachers and nurses can afford to get on the housing ladder. The leases are normal long leases not six month leases. Govt should encourage this sort of thing.

DespondentVoter says:
26 October 2018

The Chancellor needs to have the guts to spell out, very, very clearly, the across the board tax increases needed to achieve even half of what people would like as improvements in the NHS, social care and all associated subjects. These increases need to apply to EVERYONE, not just the apparently rich, likely 5-10p/£ on ALL rates to be raise anything like enough. Anything much less is simply a rounding error in the national expenditure on these areas. Do your homework on how much a tax rise of 1p/£ raises and then the sums!

This means that the 50% of households (source – ONS and HMRC) who, net, take more from the national pot than they put in, need to understand that their personal position will also be “worse off” in order for us to benefit collectively. And yes, the well off will still be better off, but then they are already funding things anyhow, they will also be doing that more.

Is he going to do this? No! Because any politician who spoke this truth would be reviled and never elected again. And those who simply want to “tax” (aka punish) the well off so they can get more at no personal sacrifice would scream that it is “unfair”.

The budget will be an obfuscatory evasion of any really difficult decisions.

TO NFH The vast majority of eu nationals in UK do not earn enough to make their proper contribution. They are overall a burden to us. They also suppress wages for UK citizens because they are willing to work for low pay, which is still very much more tha they could hope for at home. On the bright side, Bulgarian and Rumanian gypsies selling 2 copies of the Big Issue are no longer accepted as self employed so cannot claim tax credit.
I daresay they have found some other racket, though.

Jim, what would “their proper contribution” be? This sounds like a xenophobic comment, which you have failed to support with any figures.

And they do not suppress wages for British citizens, because they do jobs that British people are unwilling to do, such as hospitality and fruit picking. How many EU27 nationals do you personally know? I know plenty. Where do you get your information from?

Carol says:
26 October 2018

All I know is that the standards of most people in this country have been eroded since the late nineties. We need more resources for public services. If that means staying in the EU then that would be good, we are after all a European country, regardless of what some people would say.

Income tax for everyone was once much higher at about 30%.
Rather than cynically trying to penalise wealthy minorities with few votes, a general increase makes more sense to fund public services. Unless both main parties agree, this is unlikely to happen, unfortunately.
Taxing capital (on movement, ie gains taxes, stamp duty, or statically such as council tax, rates) is the whole country behaving as someone spending their capital.Once it has gone, it has gone.
Instead encourage saving. Use tax penalties to discourage lavish living over festivities such as Halloween, November 5th, Christmas, Easter, half terms etc. Use tax penalties to discourage excessive spending on overseas holidays.

Discouraging overseas holidays is a bad idea. Travel (as well as language ability) broadens the mind and curtails the kind of inward-looking xenophobic attitudes that fuelled Brexit.

Carol contradicts herself, we were in the EU while she claims our standards have been eroded. So we need to get out.

No, Carol does not contradict herself. She is saying that standards have been eroded since the 1990s, but that if we leave the EU as the government intends, then standards will be eroded even more. Staying in the EU would reduce this erosion.

I think it is time that Facebook, Amazon, Starbucks etc paid their full Corporation Tax dues. There ought as well to be a closure of the ‘loopholes’ that allow rich individuals to stash their money overseas and thus avoid paying tax. These moves would help to provide the resources to properly fund the NHS, local Councils, the Police etc.

Is the Chancellor going to announce an additional £350 million per week for the NHS with effect from 30th March 2019? If not, Brexit needs to be cancelled, as it would therefore have been sold to the electorate on a lie.

Because the remoaners undermined our negotiations it may be a couple of years before we can afford the full amount. Also please stop distorting what was actually said, as the Brexit campaigners were not in power they never promised all the savings to one cause or another. We said let’s decide how we spend our money not have the EU decide for us. For example we could spend it on the NHS. Of course the newspapers and remoaners changed that to a promise.

The wording on the bus implied to most people that the NHS would receive this windfall if we left the EU. The same MPs who were campaigning for Vote Leave are now in government or have been since the referendum.

So the remoaners will be able to blame everthing on brexit while the brexiteers will be able to blame the remoaners for somehow having “undermined” brexit? – – –

If the point of the brexit vote was to deliver a once and for ever solution to the issues raised by euro scepticism, then I’m beginning to wonder if that cunning plan was doomed to failure, because the root causes of the issues involved will remain as valid concerns, even after brexit.

The wording on the bus” was widely discredited as soon as it appeared. Unfortunately people use unsubstantiated bits of “information” on both sides of the debate to try to resolve an issue that is extremely complex and to which we simply do not have an answer, just a hunch. a bit like going into WW2 – who knew the outcome in advance?

We will never know the right answer as to whether we are better in or out of the EU because we will not have any means to compare the options in practice. In my view, we should either be wholehearted members of a European state, including the Euro, and play a constructive role and accept we will substantially subsidise the less wealthy members, or we leave and trust our ability to stand on our own feet. I don’t believe the half-hearted approach we have always adopted, and thus been a rather unwelcome member (until they see our money being withdrawn), was the correct approach.

It seems that the British public still believes the £350m/week claim according to a report in the Independent today: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/vote-leave-brexit-lies-eu-pay-money-remain-poll-boris-johnson-a8603646.html

Personally I get very offended by being described as Xenophobic or Nationalistic… I voted leave for one reason and that is I want to be governed by people I have a chance of voting in favour of or against. Not some bunch of idiots sat in an office in Brussels that don’t give a damn of the standard of living in areas they’ve never been to and never plan to go to.

Ian, many people voted to leave for reasons such as yours, which are not xenophobic and only very slightly nationalistic. My comment about voting to leave for xenophobic and nationalistic reasons was aimed specifically at those who wanted to end free movement of labour. I hoped that I made this clear in my wording.

UK citizens had the option to vote at the European Elections and I fail to see the difference between that and voting at the UK election except for those who want to vote in a local extremist party such as the BNP.

True, and don’t forget how much EU legislation (particularly consumer legislation to keep things on topic) originates from the UK. The more intelligent leave voters like Ian often cite the above as a reason for voting to leave, yet I rarely hear them citing even one piece of EU legislation that has caused a problem for the UK. I can think of only one, which is limits on bankers’ bonuses, but that is probably quite welcome to the majority of the electorate.

BTW – that’s not me; Lobby joker and welcome to the day journo. I voted to Remain.

Do wish they’d sort out this avatar mess – more than a week, now…

Haha. Yes, I was surprised, as I knew you were too intelligent to vote to leave!

Let me give you a small example of what voting in the EU achieves. The EU books never balance and the accountants won’t sign them off. In the UK we would be getting a new set of MPs but in Europe they shrug and promise to do better next year.

Fishing quotas!

The European Court of Auditors checks the EU’s accounts and delivers verdicts on them annually. It actually gives two different opinions on them: whether they’re accurate and reliable, and to what extent there’s evidence that money is being received or paid in error.

The auditors give a clean opinion on the accuracy and reliability of the accounts when they present a true and fair view of the EU’s finances and follow the rules of financial reporting. This has been the case since 2007.

If they’re mostly fine, but have some problems, the auditors give a qualified opinion. This was the case before 2007. If they have extensive problems, they give an adverse opinion on the reliability of the accounts. This has never happened.

The same opinions are delivered on the ‘regularity’ of the accounts— mainly whether the payments are free from significant errors. Until 2016, the Court of Auditors had always given an adverse opinion on this ever since it started giving opinions in 1995.

However, the most recent report gives a qualified opinion that “A significant part of the 2016 expenditure audited was not affected by a material level of error”.

Margery Toller says:
26 October 2018

A tax on plastic packaging – and all superfluous packaging. A tax on all non reusable drinks bottles and cans, with financial advantages for producers who introduce returnable bottles with a deposit scheme to encourage returns.

All good ideas. I would also add a tax on disposable batteries (particularly AA and AAA size). As well as being more costly in the long run, there’s no reason to use disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are hardly expensive nowadays.

The chancellor should remove all the higher tax rebate for people on higher rate tax. Any rebate should be the same for all. Currently its 20 per cent for all basic rate tax payers. Aside from the obvious unfairness to basic rate taxpayers, we should be trying to avoid taxing people only to give it back and entail the additional civil service costs in order to do so. Of course this is very unpopular amongst both MPs and journalists (its the one of the few times they are in agreement), most of whom are high rate taxpayers which is it gets mooted every year but never implemented.

More money must be spent on social housing. There’s not enough to go round and vulnerable people are relying on rogue private landlords for a roof over their head. Stop the ‘right to buy’ scheme for council housing – a ridiculous notion when social housing is in such short supply.

Morbier, where I live in London, every developer who wants to build new residential flats has to provide a certain proportion as social housing as a condition of planning permission. They always have a separate paupers’ entrance for the social housing flats, via which premium facilities such as concierges and gyms are not accessible.

Where do all the migrants live?

EU27 nationals, particularly those on minimum wage, typically live in HMOs (house in multiple occupation). And why do you call them “migrants“? Why not call them expats, which is the term used for British people who go to live and work in other countries? Why different terms for different nationalities?

Many students and young professionals live in similar circumstances too – not just in the UK but all over the world.

Derek, you’re right. But EU27 nationals live in this way for many years after they finish their studies, because their incomes are insufficient to afford accommodation that is more conventional for their age, e.g. 30s and 40s.

I would like the Chancellor to:
1. Abolish Stamp duty on homes and let people down-size, up size and generally be allowed to sort out their life and finances without being abused by taxation. It would boost the economic activity, increase profits and thereby taxes.

2. Reduce overall taxation for the middle and lower earners and tax the mega rich.

3. Reduce overall state departments. Abolish councils and reallocate to a national run department, that would be more efficient, reduce total cost and provide a standard and fairer service to every citizen.

4. Do not pay anything to the EU pre or post exiting.

Point 4 is ridiculous. Do you think that any other country’s government will want to do business with the UK government again if it doesn’t meet financial obligations under existing treaties? Your approach would seriously damage global trust of the UK and could even harm the UK’s credit rating, causing increased costs for government borrowing.

Probably not a budget matter, but relevant to point 1: Somehow the hangers on that are earning hundreds and thousands each time someone moves home need to be stopped. A rule that if a purchase or sale falls through none of the professionals get paid would be a good starting point. (At present this only applies to the estate agent.)
At present, it is to the advantage of the buyer’s solicitor, surveyor and mortgage company to discourage the purchase, as that way the hapless buyer then tries to buy another house and they get more charges and fees and so on. This may not be at the top of their minds, but it is nevertheless an evolutionary pressure.
As to point 2
I am dubious about taxing groups with more wealth than votes as this has unfortunate historical connotations. Trying to nudge wealthy people from leaving the country is a good idea as if they are earning they are also benefiting the country as a whole.
Amazon Starbucks etc employ people who all contribute taxes, and indeed may require benefits if not employed.
Point 3 is excellent. To most people authorities are authorities, whether local, national or EU. They are “The Government.”

Some furthering monitoring of car insurance companies is necessary to restrict current sharp practice. A telephone call will be logged as a ‘claim’ even if the matter under discussion is not and will not in the future give rise to a claim. The effect is an unjustifiable hefty surcharge on policy cost and a ‘claims’ record which will penalise.

Being a voluntary social worker, helping people, especially from ethnic minorities, I come across so many families struggling to put food on the table. As I have traveled all over Europe, I can see how basic our infra-structure is. It is like a developing country, yet we spend billions on overseas aid. It seems fro our politicians, charity begins and ends overseas, our people are the last on their priority list. Chancellor should impose 1 pence tax all round, especially marked for NHS rather than disappearing it in a bottomless pit. Our elderly people who fought for the nation, deserves a better care in their old age.

Why do we need an additional 1% income tax for the NHS when Brexit is going to give the NHS a windfall of £350 million per week?

Mike says:
26 October 2018

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is unfair because it discriminates against the young, the elderly, those with disabilities and those who live in areas where a higher premium is paid. How? The young driver pays a higher insurance premium as does the elderly driver or one with disabilities. Those who live in areas subject to flooding pay higher premiums as do those who live in an area with a high crime record. Why should these people have to pay more tax as well as higher premiums? It is grossly unfair.

Any form of indirect taxation is regressive, whether it’s VAT or a tax on specific goods or services as IPT is. Regressive taxes inherently hit those on low incomes more than those on high incomes.

We could remove all tax from purchases and replace it with higher income and company taxation, with all income being taxed, whatever the source. However that would discriminate against those who are thrifty and choose to spend only, or primarily, on essentials. So maybe ensure all everyday necessities are free of tax. Not sure where you draw the line; clearly include energy, but what about petrol and diesel? Phone and broadband?