Budget 2016: a get out of jail free card?

  • Disappointment as OBR borrowing forecasts increase by £56.3 billion over spending review period.
  • Budget measures mitigate worsening forecasts, but chances of a budget surplus in 2019-20 are just over 50%.
  • ISA reforms have effectively replaced personal pensions for the under 40s.
  • Concerns that sugar levy will disproportionally hit the poorest income households.
  • Modest unspecified £3.5bn cuts dwarf additional borrowing announced in the Autumn Statement. More measures may be required to meet budget surplus.
  • Chancellor still has a number of get of jail free cards. For example, abolishing NICs relief on employer pension contributions could save Chancellor £8 billion a year.

Daniel Mahoney, Tim Knox - Friday, 18th March, 2016