This year’s Budget exemplified how George Osborne is stuck between competing forces.
Economically speaking, our nation’s strong recovery is looking a little less strong than it was, and this is threatening to scupper the Government’s deficit reduction plan. The Chancellor knows that he must implement spending cuts and perhaps even tax increases to keep the public finances on track.
Politically speaking, the impending EU Referendum pits the Chancellor – who is for remaining in the European Union – against the majority of his own party. If he wants to be the next Conservative leader, as many assume that he does, then he might also be reluctant to implement some of those spending cuts and tax increases, for fear of angering his colleagues and their constituents.
Perhaps this explains why the latest Budget contained the surprise of a fuel duty freeze, rather than the expected fuel duty increase. Politics won out in that case – and happily so!
These issues, and more, are considered in the first of our Readable Guides to the Budget. It is split into four sections:
- The economic and fiscal forecasts. Here you’ll find the graphs and numbers underpinning the Budget’s policies.
- The policies for motorists. Our commentary on everything from the fuel duty freeze to driverless cars, with a lot more in between.
- The other policies. Where we describe four other policy themes that stood out from the Budget.
- Sources and further reading. Links so that you can take your understanding of the Budget even further.
This guide isn’t intended to be comprehensive. If you want that, there is always the Budget itself, along with the reams of supplementary material published by the Office for Budget Responsibility and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Besides, we will also be publishing our annual financial guide in May. This will clarify the Budget’s fleet-related policies with the use of real world scenarios, as well as guide you through a variety of fleet funding decisions.
We do intend this guide to be – as we say in its title – readable. Our hope is that it can be digested with pleasure, and will demystify some of the Budget’s more impenetrable parts along the way.
You can access our Readable Guide to the Budget by clicking here.
Please let me know what you think.