No Post-Election Budget For UK

By Global Tax Weekly

Perhaps one ray of light exists for taxpayers attempting to make sense of the United Kingdom’s chaotic political backdrop – there won’t after all be yet another “emergency” summer budget. Taxpayers have no doubt had quite enough of summer budgets, autumns statements, and spring announcements, and therefore the decision by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to forgo a post-election fiscal statement in favor of waiting for the scheduled Budget towards the end of this year could be interpreted as a sensible move, allowing time for the dust storm to settle.

On the other hand, it could be argued that if there was ever a need for an emergency budget, it is now. For if attempting to leave the European Union with a weak Government wrought with internal divisions, and with a leader who in political terms looks increasingly like a dead woman walking, isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is!

Still, perhaps the pragmatic “spreadsheet Phil,” as the Chancellor is rather unflatteringly known by his colleagues, has come to the conclusion that doing nothing, at least for the time being, is preferable to doing something that could quickly backfire (the shambles around raising  the UK’s social security levy springs to mind). Indeed, as the Government backfires its way through the Brexit negotiations, it’s in danger of earning its own unflattering nickname from its EU neighbors: chitty chitty bang bang. It’s to be hoped that the wheels don’t completely fall off.

As has been pointed out here before, the only other country to successfully leave the EU was Greenland. And the fact that this particular Grexit took years to come to fruition when the only serious issue at stake was fishing rights doesn’t bode well for Brexit. Which is probably why the UK’s cabinet minister for Brexit, David Davis, has more or less decided it’s not worth trying to extract concession from the EU vis-à-vis the Single Market and Customs Union, and that it would be a better use of time trying to arrive at a mutually agreeable free trade agreement instead.

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