Sunak's first Budget focused on jobs and investment

Stuart Ritchie

The chancellor of the exchequer completed his Budget speech to acclaim from the Conservative benches - it was a statement focused on government spending to protect jobs and businesses and to also invest in the future of the UK.

There was welcome increase in the national insurance threshold to raise take-home pay – up by more than £5,200 a year over the past 10 years for the lowest paid members of society.

But very little was said by Mr Sunak about significant tax measures apart for announcing the reduction in the lifetime limit for entrepreneurs' relief and releasing the pensions pressure through the pensions annual allowance taper on NHS doctors and consultants.

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This will mean they can work longer hours to provide greater access to health services for all members of society.

Mr Sunak also announced extra funding for HM Revenue & Custims to raise an extra £4.46bn in tax revenues from tackling tax evasion and avoidance - a classic statement by a chancellor.

Given penalties paid by taxpayers are up to over £800m a year, this will be no surprise to those involved in defending individuals from tax investigations and disputes.

HM Treasury have published their Budget document – all 125 pages – and as usual the devil will be in the detail. Much more understanding of the detailed provisions will emerge in the coming days.

But it is worth remembering the size of government revenues and expenditures in 1998 was in the region of £330bn a year.

It would not be surprising to see government revenues and expenditures soon exceed £900bn a year – on any analysis an amazing increase over a 20 year period.

Stuart Ritchie is principal of Ritchie Phillips and a member of the private client committee of the tax faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales