The Budget October 2021 – what did we know in advance?

In 1947, the Labour Chancellor Hugh Dalton walking to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget, made an off-the-cuff remark to a journalist giving a clue as to some of the tax changes he was to announce. The news was printed in the early editions of the evening papers before he had completed his speech and whilst the stock market was still open. In the ensuing scandal he was ultimately forced to resign for leaking budget secrets.

In recent days, House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle launched an attack on Chancellor Rishi Sunak, suggesting The Chancellor had broken the Ministerial Code pre-briefing the media over the last week. However, with a burgeoning career that could see him the next PM, I doubt Rishi will meet the same fate as Mr Dalton.

Ignoring the media briefings, there are a number of things previously announced that we already know about the 2022-23 tax landscape:

Personal allowances will be £12,570 and the basic rate threshold will be £37,700 so 40% income tax kicks in for earnings above £50,270

Not forgetting the Manifesto Pledges made at the December 2019 General Election:

  • A promise not to raise the rates of Income Tax or NICs or the rate of VAT in the current Parliament, which has already been broken with the extra 1.25% NIC and dividend tax Social Care Levy from April 2022 announced in September
  • Increases in Corporation Tax which were announced in March 2021 and will take effect from April 2023 with an increase in the corporation tax rate from 19% to 25% percent with effect from 1 April 2023. However the 19% rate will continue to apply to companies with profits of not more than £50,000 with marginal relief for profits of up to £250,000 where the new 25% rate begins

With the ongoing global pandemic, climate change, the switch to electric cars, rising labour costs, supply shortages on the domestic and business fronts, the semi conductor shortage, fuel and power costs going through the roof, on-going Brexit fallout and pressures on interest rates, it will be a difficult balancing act.

Who knows, there may even be scope for a few proverbial ‘rabbits from hats’…