The Tory Government’s tax changes will greatly increase inequality in the UK, in income and between regions.
It is outrageous, with the cost-of-living crisis so acute, for the Government to prioritise abolishing the cap on bankers' bonuses and the top rate of Income Tax. When those who will benefit most are the ultra-rich donors to the Tory Party, you have to wonder what incentives are driving the changes.
We welcome the U-turn on National Insurance and the reduction in the basic rate of Income Tax, although it should be brought forward to help during the winter. But to balance the books long-term, the wealthiest should pay more, not less. There also needs to be far more focus on ensuring that the benefits system delivers the income to those who desperately need it for their soaring energy and food bills.
But this spending has to be paid for. Generations to come will bear the burden of national debt and it will be the poorest who lose out the most. Rather than showering London bankers with tax cuts, it should be taxing big business – especially those currently enjoying windfall profits – and using that to deliver a fairer and more equal country.
The simple message from today’s fiscal statement is that you can’t trust the Tories with our economy.