BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg points out inconsistency in Rishi Sunak budget ‘Better be right!’
Budget 2021: Kuenssberg says ‘better hope projections are right’
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Laura Kuenssberg has stressed that Rishi Sunak will “better hope the projections are right,” after the Chancellor announced a big spending increase in the 2021 budget. The Chancellor announced the autumn Budget in a speech to Parliament this afternoon with a number of high-profile giveaways including a reduction in beer duty. However, Ms Kuenssberg argued that rising inflation made economic projections from the Treasury a risky gambit.
Ms Kuenssberg told BBC Politics Live: “Rishi Sunak in a funny way and that budget someone just described to me it was there’s something for everyone budget.
“You know, there was a bit for business here with some of the announcements I’m sure Simon will talk about.
“There was that big, bigger than expected tweak to Universal Credit, which the Chancellor says 2 million families will benefit from a response to some of the concerns about the cost of living crisis.
“But also right at the very beginning of his speech, he highlighted something that is extremely important that will colour the political atmosphere, potentially for many, many months, is that projecting that inflation will hit 4 percent.
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“And that is going to be a challenge for the government is going to be a challenge for everyone,” she continued.
“But he’s benefitting for the fact that it seems as if the pandemic did less permanent damage to the economy than we thought.
“But there’s an awful lot of very expensive stuff he’s promised to do in there and he better hope that the numbers and those better projections are actually right.”
It comes as Sky News’s Beth Rigby warned hikes to both VAT and Council Tax will come to clobber working Britons.
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The Political Editor explained: “VAT is going to go up 4 billion and then 9.3 billion per year for the next two years.
“Council Tax, if you look at the office for Budget Responsibility, is going to go up to 12.1 billion up 33 percent From now, by 2026/27.
“So I think when we drill into the numbers, Rishi Sunak talks a lot about the big giveaways and a lot about the spending and a lot about cots around alcohol and fuel duty.
“But in it, are there more tax rises for people.”
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“Because I think the acid test of this budget isn’t the optics in the chamber, but in five, six months time, are people struggling with inflation, really feeling the squeeze of the cost of living, or are their lives improving.”
Giveaways announced by Mr Sunak included “drought relief” – a new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider.
The Chancellor told MPs: “It will apply to drinks served from draught containers over 40 litres. It will particularly benefit community pubs who do 75 percent of their trade on draught. Let me tell the House the new rate: draught relief will cut duty by 5 percent.
“That’s the biggest cut to cider duty since 1923. The biggest cut to fruit ciders in a generation. The biggest cut to beer duty for 50 years. This is not temporary, it’s a long-term investment in British pubs of £100 million a year. And a permanent cut in the cost of a pint by 3p.”
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