Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement has been branded as “lukewarm” and might not enough to shift the political narrative for the Conservatives by the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
The comments from Nigel Green of deVere Group follow the Chancellor delivering the Autumn Statement 2023 on Wednesday in the House of Commons.
He says: “This was the Chancellor’s main opportunity outside of the Budget to make tax and spending announcements and, with Labour 20 points ahead in the polls, one of the last chances for the government to shift the narrative for the Conservatives ahead of the general election.
“While some measures announced today are clearly to be welcomed, the Statement as a whole was surprisingly lukewarm.
“Despite some positive headline grabbers, including a national insurance cut of 2%, plans for 12 investment zones and a ‘full expensing’ tax cut for businesses, it’s unlikely to significantly improve the financial situation of many households across Britain and, therefore, will do little to move the political needle for the government.
“With the Office for Budget Responsibility confirming that there’s been a turnaround in the Treasury’s coffers, and with government borrowing falling and the income from tax increasing, Hunt missed an opportunity to go much further and do much more to help families and businesses.”
“No substantive changes to income tax, no changes in bands, corporation tax, or inheritance tax.”
The deVere CEO adds that there was “a general sense that the government is stressing that people’s personal finances are their own responsibility” amid emphasis on incentivising work and attempts to put money back into individuals’ pockets.
This, he says, reinforces how working alongside a financial advisor is likely to be beneficial.
“Recognising that personal finances are one’s own responsibility promotes financial independence and resilience. Working with an independent financial advisor not only streamlines the decision-making process but also instils confidence and discipline in financial management.
“It transforms personal finances from a daunting task into a collaborative effort, ensuring that individuals are well-equipped to secure their financial future with informed choices and strategic planning.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “Last year the Autumn Statement was all about saving the country from economic meltdown after the disastrous Truss-Kwarteng mini-budget.
“This year’s was all about the politics ahead of the general election.
“With the fiscal headroom having doubled, Jeremy Hunt missed an opportunity to responsibly deliver more. This is not a game-changer.”