A new guest author shares their thoughts on today’s Budget Hack event:
Today is Philip Hammond’s first budget and he has already been wished well by former Chancellor George Osborne whose rather wistful tweet this morning shows what a defining moment a Chancellors first budget can be.
— Philip Hammond (@PHammondMP) March 8, 2017
In what is being billed as a ‘Brexit Budget’ this comes at a turbulent time in the context of an uncertain future for the UK. Hammond will be keen communicate that the UK is approaching a positive new chapter outside of the EU.
Hammond has the reputation of a careful accountant and this may be an advantage. He’s said to have told his colleagues that “boring is good” a contrast to his predecessor who was keen to pull many rabbits out of hats and enjoyed a lively debate over the despatch box. While he may describe himself as boring rumour has it the budget will be upbeat and Hammond will be positive about the economy pre and post Brexit.
It’s being billed as a safe budget. We can expect a different style to Osborne and very different to that of Ken Clarke who enjoyed a tipple of whiskey while giving his budget speech. Hammond will be keen to be seen as a safe pair of hands (much like the PM) someone who can guide us through Brexit and successfully out the other side.
To chime with this sensible approach, Hammond will stress the need for the UK to reduce borrowing in the long term to prepare us for the economic uncertainty of withdrawing from the EU.
And to time with International Women’s Day and the growing awareness of women’s rights there will be a £20 million funding boost for domestic violence organisations and £5 million fund to help mothers return to work after a long career break. This is very timely and research sited by the Labour Party suggests 86% of the Government’s austerity cuts have fallen on women.
So Hammond will take a boring and sensible approach. Laying out his budget as a way to help us weather the Brexit storm. Sensible, careful and slightly boring; just what you’d expect from an accountant!