Markets react to Kwarteng’s 'mini-budget'

Kwasi Kwarteng’s so-called 'mini-budget' has received mixed reviews today, as the Chancellor detailed a series of tax cuts, including a U-turn on plans to raise corporation tax to 25%, major changes to SDLT, and further cuts to income tax and NI.

"We’re going to increase the value of the property on which first-time buyers can claim relief, from £500,000 to £625,000,” Kwarteng said. “The steps we’ve taken today mean 200,000 more people will be taken out of paying stamp duty altogether. This is a permanent cut to stamp duty, effective from today."

The Government will be cutting the basic rate of income tax to 19p in April 2023 – one year early.

“That means a tax cut for over 31 million people in just a few months’ time,” he explained. “That means we will have one of the most competitive and pro-growth income tax systems in the world.”

Kwarteng also announced plans to abolish the top rate of income tax, currently 45%, insisting that the change will simplify the system and “make Britain more competitive”.

The Chancellor's plans have been met with trepidation.

"Reversing the National Insurance rise, combined with scrapping the planned rise in corporation tax, scrapping the top level of tax and edging down the 20% threshold by 1 pence in the pound will mean that inflows into government coffers will be significantly reduced just at a time when they are being depleted to fund the energy price freeze,” commented Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown.

“Keeping the headline rate of corporation tax lower is not likely to kick-start domestic company investment into automation or re-skilling. The government has missed a trick not bringing in more targeted tax incentives and deductions.

Kwarteng’s sweeping changes precipitated a slide in equity prices, with the FTSE 100 dropping back below 7,000 earlier for the first time since March (after the invasion of Ukraine).

“By throwing Rishi Sunak’s tax raising plans on a bonfire, the government is taking a big gamble that growth will be ignited, to help the economy grow. But confidence that these unfunded tax cuts are a coherent policy for today’s inflation laden times is going up in smoke, with the pound sliding to fresh 37-year lows against the dollar at $1.10 and government borrowing costs escalating.

“The yield on 10-year gilts rocketed to hit 3.7%, surging from 3.2% on Tuesday as investors demanded more return for the greater risk they were taking by buying government debt.”

It was a VAT cut that businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, had been crying out for, Streeter added -- to help see them through the energy and cost-of-living crises, but that help from that direction was nowhere to be seen.

    Share Story:


Deborah Ritchie speaks to Chief Inspector Tracy Mortimer of the Specialist Operations Planning Unit in Greater Manchester Police's Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit; Inspector Darren Spurgeon, AtHoc lead at Greater Manchester Police; and Chris Ullah, Solutions Expert at BlackBerry AtHoc, and himself a former Police Superintendent. For more information click here

Modelling and measuring transition and physical risks
CIR's editor, Deborah Ritchie speaks with Giorgio Baldasarri, global head of the Analytical Innovation & Development Group at S&P Global Market Intelligence; and James McMahon, CEO of The Climate Service, a S&P Global company. April 2023