(STL.News) The chancellor in today’s Budget has spelled out the enormous cost of shoring up the economy because of the pandemic. Mr. Sunak revealed a series of measures that will make the UK’s tax burden to its highest level since the 1960s. He insisted that without “corrective action,” the national debt would go on rising indefinitely.
There will be more spending in the short term. The furlough scheme for workers and support for the self-employed will be extended to September, as will the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit.
For the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, the business rates holiday will continue until June. There’s an extra £65 billion being spent on the whole range of support measures.
Paying for all this will take decades, according to the chancellor. Income tax allowances will be frozen from April 2022 for 4 years. This means more than a million people will start to pay income tax, and a million more will start to pay the higher rate. Corporations paid by companies on their profits will rise from 19 to 25 percent by 2023.
That will only make a dent in the record amounts the government is borrowing, more than £355 billion this year alone.
The Office for Budget responsibility says the overall Budget package will lead to the UK economy’s highest tax burden for more than half a century.
Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by political editor Laura Kuenssberg and economics editor Faisal Islam.