Few surprises for Suffolk in Sunak's latest Budget

Rishi Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget was described as underwhelming. - Credit: PA

Was that it? That appears to have been the overwhelming reaction of those who are not active Conservative politicians as Rishi Sunak sat down at the end of his Budget.

That was partly because much of the meat had already been distributed to Sunday newspaper journalists and broadcasters.

We knew about the infrastructure investment in the north of England. We knew the minimum wage (aka the national living wage, not the real living wage) would be going up to £9.50 and we knew the public sector pay gap was being lifted.

There were a few changes here and there - the excise duty on alcohol is being changed but no one seems quite sure what's going up or down and the there were some tweaks to flying taxes while fuel duty was frozen yet again. Will there ever be a good time to put it up?

On the question of changes to flying taxes with cuts to the duty to domestic flights (for which there is obvious competition) and increases to the duty on long-haul flights (for which there is no other way of travel), this looks like a direct attempt to get people to take more short flights.

Given that short-haul aviation is probably the most polluting method of travel known to mankind, I can only assume Mr Sunak is unaware of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow at the weekend. Maybe he'll fly up there to give it a look!

The Budget was described as "underwhelming" by the Suffolk Chamber. They'd clearly looked as hard as me for references to the county or indeed the East of England. There were none in the speech itself.

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But the one rule you have to follow with Budgets is that you never judge them on the day they're delivered, or even the weekend before when the official leaks come out.

You judge them the weekend afterwards once people have had time to go through all the documents that have been released over the last few hours and you find all the nasties at the bottom of Appendix XIII on page 287.

That's when the true story of the autumn Budget of 2021 will emerge!

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