Following last year’s success our expert panel has reconvened to predict what the Chancellor has in store for us in this year’s budget. As with last year we will compare our predictions with what actually happens after the budget. Updates are given in orange.
Unlike last year there was less consensus amongst our experts, making it difficult to come to clear conclusions.
Starting with the basic rate of income tax, the overwhelming view of our panel was that there will be no change. However, when it came to predicting how the present tax free allowance of £6,475 might alter there was a three way split between those pessimists who thought there will be no change, those who believed it will increase marginally and those expecting an increase of around £1,000. The increase was £630
When asked about vehicle excise duty the panel was split right down the middle between those expecting no change and those expecting it to increase. The panel was then back to a three way split when it came to fuel excise duty, between those anticipating increases, decreases and no change! Well VED went up in line with inflation – except for HGVs while fuel duty decreases by 1p a litre!
However, consensus returned when it came to cigarettes and beer with the panel predicating an increase in duty of between 1-9p on a packet of twenty cigarettes and 1-4p on a pint of beer. The price of cigarettes will go up by 17p while no increase on beer!
When it came to predicting where the ten new Enterprise Zones will be established there was clear consensus on five (Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Stoke) but they were unable to agree on the remainder and instead we have a second group of seven (Derby, Hull, Leeds, London, Manchester, Plymouth and Sunderland). The first ten EZs will be located within the following areas Birmingham and Solihull; Leeds City Region; Shefﬁeld City Region; Liverpool City Region; Greater Manchester; West of England; Tees Valley; North Eastern; the Black Country; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and London. Well 9 out of 10 is not bad – only Nottingham was a surprise.
Finally and perhaps surprisingly our panel was decisive in predicting that the Chancellor will abolish one tax in the budget. Well this didn’t really come to pass.
So that’s our predictions for this year – we will see how well we did in a few days time.
Well not a great success this year, not helped by our lack of consensus but at least we did well on the Enterprise Zones!