A step in the right direction, not a leap, says IEA’s Mark Littlewood

Responding to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, Mark Littlewood, Director General at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The Autumn statement is a step in the right direction towards lower taxes and economic growth, but not a leap.

“The introduction of permanent ‘full expensing’ will encourage businesses to invest in buildings, structures and equipment. The 110 supply side reforms, encompassing benefits, financial services and planning, will help boost growth. Cuts to national insurance return a substantial sum to the pockets of the average worker.

“Nonetheless, amidst the rhetoric about tax reductions, this government is presiding over one of the heaviest tax burdens in the past seven decades. The frozen income tax thresholds amount to a stealth tax increase of around £40 billion annually by some estimates. The Chancellor is essentially taking with one hand and giving back with another.

“There was also shockingly little about reducing government spending. The splashing of taxpayer cash for frivolous purposes, like on the Hay Festival, is hardly fiscally responsible. The rapid increase in the minimum wage risks businesses cutting jobs and hours of some of the most vulnerable workers, including those with less skills and the young.

“There is far more work to be done to reduce the tax burden, decrease spending, cut red tape, and reform public services.”


Notes to editors

Contact: [email protected] / 07763 365520

IEA spokespeople are available for comment and interview

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *