The day after Philip Hammond’s first budget much comment surrounds his use of National Insurance changes to meet the rocketing cost of public services. And as with all budgets, there are both winners and losers.
But these are petty details compared with the overall effect of being sensible with the public finances. This country has an enormous pile of debt (measured not in millions but in trillions of pounds) yet remains wonderfully credit-worthy, and so our interest rates are low because the likes of “Spreadsheet Phil” do not spook the markets in ways that more reckless politicians – greedy for popularity – might do.
I can remember working for a hotel owner in the late 1970s who was paying 18% interest on his substantial borrowings. Imagine dealing with that today and suddenly the other burdens look relatively mild.