The 2008 Budget: Ninth Report of Session 2007-08 : Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

Front Cover
This report examines the forecasts and measures contained in the 2008 Budget (HC 455, session 2007-08, ISBN 9780102953336). The Treasury's lower forecasts for economic growth in 2008 and 2009 are above the average of independent forecasters, suggesting that the Treasury may have given insufficient weight to the risks of continued financial market turbulence and that some of the UK economy's characteristics that have proven beneficial in past crises (rapidly rising residential property prices, close links with the US and an increasing reliance on the financial services industry, for example) might prove to be conduits through which the current problems in global financial markets are transmitted to the UK real economy. The further weakening of the forecasts for the public finances is noted, and it appears premature for the Treasury to state that it is "on course" to meet the golden rule in the next economic cycle, given the lack of an end date for the previous economic cycle. Measures on child poverty are welcomed, but there is a need for a clear explanation on deployment of resources to ensure that the target to halve child poverty by 2010-11 will be achieved. The abolition of the 10 pence rate of income tax will most affect those under 65 years of age, in childless households, earning under 18,500: the Committee feels this group is an unreasonable target for raising additional tax revenues. The Treasury should commission research into whether the withdrawal of the 10 pence income tax band and high marginal deduction rates are creating disincentives that could frustrate the Government's welfare to work objectives. The Committee also calls for a national Saving Gateway targeted at low-income households and more consideration of tax changes on the middle and lower income groups of non-domiciled taxpayers.

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Report Page
The public finances
Child poverty fuel poverty and the poverty trap
Public expenditure issues
Tax measures
Conclusions and recommendations
Formal minutes

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