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Budget predictions – should we follow the Ted Lasso mantra and “believe”, or will it be more of the same?

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The next series of Ted Lasso starts on Budget Day – an excellent comedy drama where an American Football Coach is transported to the Premiership to coach a struggling Premier Football team.

Lots of funny moments in relation to comparing American Soccer to English Football, Quarterbacks to Midfield dynamos, 90 minutes to quarters, etc. Having said that. I don’t think they’ve included an episode where Match of the Day is unpresented, is without the famous theme tune, lasts twenty minutes and has no commentary!

Ted’s key coaching psychological mantra in driving his team upwards is “Believe”, and in many ways that’s how I feel about this week’s Spring Budget. A quiet few months for the Chancellor of the Exchequer following the debacle of the Mini-Budget and the Reverse Budget has seen him emerge as a relatively safe pair of hands to take the economy forward,  and indeed has led many of us to believe with some reasonable expectation that he will now deliver a Budget which provides:

  • Certainty for all – families and individuals need to be clear on what their taxation liabilities are so that they can budget accordingly. Similarly, businesses need certainty and consistency over rates and timing in order to make informed investment decisions.
  • Extended support for the energy crisis – still the major concern for most. Capped energy costs within the United Kingdom are still significantly greater than those of our EU neighbours and the Chancellor needs to go deeper and longer. The reduced cost to Government to date of providing this support may see the Chancellor deliver, particularly in relation to the Cliff edge for business in April.
  • Joined-up approach with the Bank of England – as an Economist, I’m still struggling to understand how supply side inflationary pressures can be dealt with by continuing to increase the Bank of England base rate – a measure usually targeted on reducing demand. Four per cent was always viewed as being the new normal but it seems to me that, having reached this point, a better team effort (thanks Ted) between the Bank and Government would deliver a better result.
  • Drive for growth – two facets to this….Corporation Tax and tax relief for investment. There is no doubt that the increased rate of Corporation Tax from April 2023 is seen as making UK PLC an uncompetitive place to do business. It’s unlikely that the Chancellor will reverse this, but he may well announce the intention of a future reduction. Similarly, there are rumours that a “son of” super-deduction will appear to replace this valuable relief when it ends on 31 March 2023.

Wednesday’s Budget speech will confirm whether that belief is well founded or if, indeed, it’s all a false hope. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for the latest updates as the Budget unfolds.