Great Britain

Budget 2021 news -Rishi Sunak branded ‘Scrooge’ as taxes soar to pay off £407billion Coronavirus costs

RISHI Sunak was branded 'Scrooge' after he warned Britain will be paying off its £407 billion coronavirus debts for decades.

A staggering 1 million people will be dragged into paying the higher rate of income tax by 2025 thanks to the Chancellor's plans, they warned - taking the total to 5 million.

Paul Johnson, from the IFS, warned that further tax rises are likely to lie ahead and said it was a "tale of two budgets" as the Chancellor extended several support packages including furlough for months to come.

He said the tax burden is set to rocket to levels not seen since the 1960s, and warned gloomily: “It is possible we'll see even bigger ones over the next few years”.

Mr Johnson said: “Take account of the cuts to planned spending announced in the Autumn and Santa Sunak, purveyor of billions today looks more like Scrooge Sunak cutting spending and raising taxes to the tune of nearly £50 billion relative to his pre-pandemic plans of March 2020.”

Follow all the latest news, updates and analysis of what the Budget means for you on our live blog below...

  • HOW TO AVOID TAX HIKES

    Some employers offer salary sacrifice schemes, which is an agreement to reduce an employee's cash pay for non-cash benefits.

    Often, these include benefits like a childcare vouchers, gym membership or a cycle to work scheme.

    You don't pay tax on the portion of your wages that goes towards paying for these schemes, lowering the amount of income tax you pay overall.

    Sarah Coles from Hargreaves Lansdown said: "The more you earn, and the bigger your pay rise over the next few years, the harder this will hit you.

    "If you’re set for a pay rise, it means it’s well worth considering salary sacrifice.

    "These schemes let you give up a portion of your salary, and spend it on certain things free of tax (and sometimes national insurance)."

  • MARTIN LEWIS GOES HEAD TO HEAD WITH SUNAK

    Martin Lewis has urged Rishi Sunak to extend the £20 a week Universal Credit boost to the millions of people that are on the old benefits system.

    The MoneySavingExpert founder went head-to-head with the Chancellor in an exclusive interview for the Martin Lewis Money Show.

    Speaking to the Chancellor, Martin read out a message from one viewer called Claire who asked why she isn’t receiving the same level of support for her adult disabled son.

    Martin asked the Chancellor: “The disabled, the carers out there who aren’t getting that support?

    “You’re not willing to help the others who are struggling because of Covid?”

    The Chancellor replied by saying the Universal Credit boost was designed “to help those in low income work” whose circumstances were affected by the pandemic.

  • 'SANTA TO SCROOGE'

    Rishi Sunak has turned from “Santa to Scrooge'' and is expected to clobber Brits with another tax bombshell, top economists have warned today.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies poured cold water on the Chancellor’s plans, warning they cannot be delivered without considerable “pain”.

    But policy wonks at the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned the Chancellor will have to launch a fresh tax raid on families to plug the holes in the budget.

    Mr Sunak plans to slash a whopping £14bilion from government spending in the next five years.

    The axe could fall hard on social care and policing as other departments, like the NHS and aid, have seen their budgets protected.

  • HARD WORKING BRITS TO BE HIT BY TAX RISE

    Millions of hard-working Brits will be hit by a stealth tax rise from yesterday's Budget.

    The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a freeze to income tax thresholds, meaning Brits will no longer benefit from planned increases to the amount that can be earned tax-free.

    In his Budget today, Mr Sunak said the tax-free personal allowance - the amount you can earn before paying tax - will rise as planned from April 2021 but then stay at that rate until April 2026.

    For basic rate taxpayers the threshold will be held at £12,570 and £50,270 for higher rate tax payers.

    Although Mr Sunak stopped short of increasing taxes, a freeze to these thresholds is essentially a pay cut, once you take into account the rate of inflation.

  • MORE THAN 2.2M JABS GIVEN IN LONDON BETWEEN DECEMBER AND MARCH

    NHS England data shows a total of 2,239,161 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and March 3, including 2,147,388 first doses and 91,773 second doses.

    This compares with 3,473,258 first doses and 115,627 second doses given to people in the Midlands, a total of 3,588,885.

    The breakdown for the other regions is:

    • East of England – 2,096,215 first doses and 83,972 second doses, making 2,180,187 in total
    • North East and Yorkshire – 2,738,543 first and 108,779 second doses (2,847,322)
    • North West – 2,326,546 first and 85,373 second doses (2,411,919)
    • South East – 2,867,324 first and 117,118 second doses (2,984,442)
    • South West – 2,047,313 first and 80,982 second doses (2,128,295)
  • UNIVERSAL CREDIT £20 A WEEK

    A £20 a week Universal Credit uplift in payments is being extended for another six months, Rishi Sunak revealed today.

    The Chancellor announced the boost for low-income households in his Budget today.

    The Chancellor today declared the Budget "meets the moment" of challenge and change facing the UK.

    And he said those in need of Universal Credit would continue to be supported.

    Speaking today, Mr Sunak said: "We’ll provide Working Tax Credit claimants with equivalent support for the next six months.

    "Because of the way that system works operationally, we’ll need to do so with a one-off payment of £500.

    "And over the course of this year, as the economy begins to recover, we are shifting our resources and focus towards getting people into decent, well-paid jobs."

  • EXTRA HELP

    Martin Lewis has urged Rishi Sunak to extend the £20 a week Universal Credit boost to the millions of people that are on the old benefits system.

    The MoneySavingExpert founder went head-to-head with the Chancellor in an exclusive interview for the Martin Lewis Money Show.

    In his Budget this week, Mr Sunak confirmed that Universal Credit claimants will continue to get the £20 a week uplift to their payments for another six months.

    People on Working Tax Credits will also get a one-off £500 payment.

    But ministers have so far rejected calls to hike payments for other older benefits that haven’t yet been replaced by Universal Credit.

  • 'SLAP IN THE FACE'

    NHS staff are expected to get just a 1 per cent pay rise next year.

    As part of measures to tighten the belt, pay rises across the public sector are to be paused from April, but NHS staff and the lowest paid will get a small, below-inflation rise.

    The Department of Health said in its submission to the annual pay review bodies that "the Government will need to take into account the challenging fiscal and economic context" with pay awards.

    It went on: "In settling the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of 1% for NHS staff.

    "Anything higher would require re-prioritisation."

  • WHAT IS THE BUDGET?

    The Budget is when the government outlines its plans for tax hikes, cuts and things like changes to the minimum wage.

    It's different to the Spending Review, which sets out how much public cash will go towards funding certain departments, devolved government's and services, such as the NHS.

    The Budget is read out in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It will be Rishi Sunak's second Budget as Chancellor.

    Mr Sunak's first one in March last year has been dubbed the "coronavirus Budget" after it focused on supporting Brits financially through the crisis, rather than the government's "levelling up" agenda as promised in the 2019 general election.

    Normally, the Budget is held once a year but the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic in 2020 saw Mr Sunak give a "mini-budget" in the Commons on July 8.

  • HOLIDAYS STILL LOOKING UNCERTAIN

    Holidays abroad are yet to be given the go-ahead by the UK government, although it is hoped that they will resume from the summer.

    A number of countries are very keen to get Brits back, and are offering vaccine passport schemes and fewer travel restrictions to encourage people to return.

    Last month, the government gave a road map out of lockdown which included self-catered domestic holidays resuming from April 12.

    This will be followed by May 17 for hotels and group trips, while a date for foreign holidays will be announced next month but is hoped to be by June 21.

  • NO CASE FOR REFORMING HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS, MPS AND PEERS SAY

    There is no case for reforming human rights laws, according to a group of MPs and peers.

    The Joint Committee on Human Rights has told the Government the legislation does not need to be changed.

    The Government has appointed former Court of Appeal judge Sir Peter Gross to consider whether the Act needs to be reformed, some 20 years after it was brought into force.

    Responding to the review, the committee said the laws had an "enormously positive impact on the enforcement of human rights in the UK" and said there was "no case for reform".

  • NHS PAY RISE BRANDED "PITIFUL AND BITTERLY DISAPPOINTING"

  • "ISLAMIC STATE STILL ABLE TO CARRY OUT LETHAL ATTACKS"

    The Foreign Secretary told the Commons: “The safety and the security of our citizens is obviously the Government’s highest priority, it is at the core of our work in tackling Daesh which remains our most significant terrorist threat – both at home and abroad.”

    Mr Raab told MPs “the Global Coalition Against Daesh estimates that there are still around 10,000 Daesh members at large across Syria and Iraq”, adding: “So support for Daesh still lingers on in many communities. At the same time, while Iraq and Syria remain Daesh’s primary focus, it also presents a clear and growing global threat.”

    He continued: “So diminishing Daesh’s ability to operate in other parts of the world, including Africa and Asia, must also be a priority for the international community. We must not allow it to take roots elsewhere.”

    Mr Raab added: “I can report to the House that on 11 February a coalition surveillance aircraft located a number of Daesh fighters – they were occupying two dispersed encampments on the banks of the Tharthar River, west of the city of Bayji.

    “Two UK Typhoon FGR4s conducted careful checks of the surrounding area for civilians before carrying out simultaneous attacks using two Paveway IV guided bombs against each group. The bombs hit their targets within the encampments, eliminating the terrorist threat.”

  • SADIQ TO BOOST LONDON

    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched his re-election campaign by promising £5m to bring jobs and tourists back to the city.

    He aims to get the pandemic-struck West End back to its former glory in a postwar-style recovery package of investment in the capital.

  • JOHNSON ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO HELP BRITS GET FIT

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is “doing all I can to lose weight” as he announced funding to help the public get “fitter and healthier”.

    Mr Johnson said he has been eating fewer carbohydrates, avoiding chocolate and “no more late-night cheese”, coupled with early morning runs.

    It comes as the Government announced a £100 million package to help drive down levels of obesity – which increases a person’s risk of dying from Covid-19 or severe disease, as well as a number of other health problems. Mr Johnson became unwell with Covid-19 himself last year.

    In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “I’ve been doing a lot, in fact, everything I can, to lose weight and to feel fitter and healthier. The result is I actually have lost some weight, quite a lot by my standards, and I feel much more energetic, I feel full of beans and I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend it.

    “I know there are many people in the same sort of position as I am, and I was, who want to lose weight. That’s why we’re investing now in that whole national objective.”

  • BORIS JOHNSON INSISTS PROTOCOL ISSUES CAN BE RESOLVED 'WITH GOODWILL AND COMMON SENSE'

    The Prime Minister has insisted "goodwill and common sense" will deliver resolutions to contentious post-Brexit Irish Sea trading arrangements.

    Boris Johnson expressed confidence that issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol are "eminently solvable", amid a further escalation of political and societal tensions over the terms of his Brexit divorce deal.

    The EU is considering legal action against the UK after the Government unilaterally extended a grace period that is currently limiting red tape associated with the protocol governing trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    MEPs are also set to delay formal ratification of the wider trade and co-operation agreement pending the outcome of the latest row between London and Brussels.

    In a separate development, loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland have withdrawn their support for the historic Good Friday peace agreement in protest against arrangements they contend have driven an economic wedge between the region and the rest of the UK.

  • BRITAIN 'THE MOST LIKELY PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE MUTANT STRAINS WILL OCCUR'

    Britain is the most likely place in the world where a mutant strain of the coronavirus will occur due to the prevailing conditions, a health minister has said.

    Giving the stark assessment at Westminster, Tory frontbencher Lord Bethell said the nation “must be on the balls of its feet” to be ready for such “unhelpful news”.

    It came amid criticism of the foreign travel red list for quarantining international arrivals, amid claims it was not effective or extensive enough.

    Responding to a statement on Covid-19 in the Lords, the renowned broadcaster and leading fertility expert Lord Winston said: “Within six hours of entering a cell, this virus will have replicated leading to millions of copies.

  • BREXIT: DUP MP SAYS 'NO SIGN' LOYALISTS PLAN RETURN TO VIOLENCE OVER NI PROTOCOL OPPOSITION

    The withdrawal of loyalist paramilitary support for Northern Ireland's historic peace agreement does not signal an intent to return to violence, a DUP MP has insisted.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, whose party leadership recently met an umbrella group representing the outlawed paramilitary groups, said there was no evidence the groups planned to resist the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol by violent means.

    His comments come after the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) umbrella group wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling him the main loyalist paramilitary groups were withdrawing support for the Good Friday/Belfast agreement.

    The paramilitaries said they were temporarily withdrawing their backing of the Belfast/Good Friday accord amid mounting concerns about the arrangements governing Irish Sea trade post-Brexit.

    The LCC leadership stressed that unionist opposition to the protocol should remain "peaceful and democratic".

  • BREAKING: MARK DRAKEFORD SELF-ISOLATING AS A 'PRECAUTION'

    The Welsh Government said First Minister Mark Drakeford is self-isolating "as a precaution" after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

    Mr Drakeford appeared before the Welsh Affairs Committee on Thursday from an outbuilding at the bottom of his garden, where he lived alone earlier during the pandemic when his wife and mother-in-law were shielding.

    A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "The First Minister is self-isolating as a precaution after being in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus."

  • MORE THAN 2.2M JABS GIVEN IN LONDON BETWEEN DECEMBER AND MARCH

    NHS England data shows a total of 2,239,161 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and March 3, including 2,147,388 first doses and 91,773 second doses.

    This compares with 3,473,258 first doses and 115,627 second doses given to people in the Midlands, a total of 3,588,885.

    The breakdown for the other regions is:

    • East of England – 2,096,215 first doses and 83,972 second doses, making 2,180,187 in total
    • North East and Yorkshire – 2,738,543 first and 108,779 second doses (2,847,322)
    • North West – 2,326,546 first and 85,373 second doses (2,411,919)
    • South East – 2,867,324 first and 117,118 second doses (2,984,442)
    • South West – 2,047,313 first and 80,982 second doses (2,128,295)
  • BORIS JOHNSON 'HORRIFIED' BY ESCALATION OF MYANMAR VIOLENCE

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "horrified" by intensified clashes in Myanmar.

    He tweeted: "I'm horrified by the escalation of violence in Myanmar and the killing of pro-democracy protesters.

    "We stand with the people of Myanmar in calling for an immediate end to military repression, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and others, and the restoration of democracy."

  • JAB QUEUE JUMPERS

    THE NHS has slammed “reprehensible” queue jumpers who are claiming to be carers in order to get their Covid vaccine early.

    Officials aren’t thoroughly checking the credentials of people when they turn up for their appointments, Brits who have had the jab claim. 

    NHS bosses say carers and NHS staff must provide proof of their occupation when they go to get vaccinated, such as letter identifying them as a registered carer.

    But dozens of Brits who claim to have been jabbed have said there were “no checks” and no need to provide any proof of identity.

Football news:

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Pochettino on Mbappe: I will fight as hard as I can to keep him. PSG wants to keep both him and Neymar
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Foden stopped working with the company that tweeted about Mbappe. The firm said that all posts are coordinated with clients