The year has not yet ended, and we have our fourth Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. Brought in by Prime Minister, Liz Truss, after the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng having held the position for only 38 days.
I know everyone will welcome a hopeful return to stability in the markets that reacted so adversely to the Budget announcement on 23 September 2022; the aftermath saw mortgages rise more than anticipated and the pound fall to record low levels.
On Monday morning, 17 October 2022, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made an unprecedented television address, pre-empting his Budget changes that were later announced in the afternoon, such was the keenness of the Government to restore some stability after the last few weeks that spooked the nation.
Final details of the medium-term fiscal plan will be announced on 31 October 2022 and hopefully, we are not spooked again!
However, strong hints were given to possibly more tax rises and targeted spending cuts.
Basically, the majority of ex-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's Budget has been reversed - the reduction in National Insurance and Stamp Duty being the notable exceptions.
The U -Turn was comprehensive, reversing the proposed reduction in basic rate tax from 20% to 19%; the intended reduction in Corporation Tax from an upper level of 25% to 19%; the social care levy on Dividends and cancelling the relaxation of off-payroll worker rules.
Assistance towards energy costs has also altered and will now be in place until April 2023 as opposed to two years. A review will be undertaken to determine how to provide more targeted assistance to those most in need and also the most affected businesses.
For those of you that experienced the high inflation rates and power cuts of the 1970’s, Black Wednesday in 1992 and the global meltdown in 2008 you will be acutely aware that more measures may be announced in the next few months, to bring some financial stability to our country in a world that seems to have turned on its head!