The Autumn Statement delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, last week included some grim news – including the declaration that the UK economy is in a recession. Fiscal sobriety was the message, a sharp turn from the mini-budget under Truss that caused market mayhem.
A survey conducted by Ipsos and the Telegraph said the UK population was not reassured by the Autumn Statement, with only 19% indicating they felt more confident after it the budget was revealed, and 40% of the respondents are now more concerned about the economy.
One conservative publication, TCW, criticized the budget claiming it will only make things worse:
“It not only raises taxes to an unprecedented peacetime level but it utterly fails to address the fundamental problem of far too much Government, far too much regulation and a dreadful bang for the buck. Rather than spending cuts, spending will continue to increase in real terms.”
Oliver Prill, the CEO of Tide, a digital business banking platform that represents more than 450,000 small businesses, shared the following comment on the Hunt budget:
“The Chancellor should have seized the opportunity to help entrepreneurs and small businesses across the UK. Though the Government has rightly concentrated on economic stability, there is little help on growth as we are now in a recession. We would point to the freezing of the VAT threshold and the threshold for employer National Insurance as two regressive measures. Although the Government’s revaluation of business rates will be welcomed by thousands of businesses throughout the UK, there is still an existential risk that thousands more businesses will go into hibernation over the winter and may never return to trading.”
Prill added that the backbone of the British economy is small businesses, and they need to see more from this Government to boost their confidence and foster long-term growth.