Ahead of the Budget on November 22, we look at the challenges facing the Chancellor – and the options open to him.
Tax and spend
The Chancellor must provide a vision than pulls together the Government’s tax and spending policies. It is spending £10bn over five years to support troubled public services, such as hospitals and prisons. This extra money is not being used to address the underlying problems. In the budget, Philip Hammond needs to move away from short-term sticking plasters and get serious about long-term changes to public services.
As Brexit approaches, departments are starting to prepare the essentials - immigration, customs and staffing levels at key departments - for life outside the EU. But how much money is available for contingency options? And what is the Treasury’s role in this process and how tight should it be holding the purse strings?
Infrastrcuture and Industrial Strategy
The Budget must include a plan to replace the finance currently provided by the European Investment Bank for vital national infrastructure projects. The upcoming Industrial Strategy White Paper provides an opportunity for investment in infrastructure and housing. But with money tight, the key issue is likely to be how well the Government decides where money is spent, rather than how much the Chancellor commits.