Originally written as a column for Inside Housing.
Around £50 billion worth of austerity looks inevitable in next week’s Autumn Statement but it remains to be seen how chancellor Jeremy Hunt will strike the balance between spending cuts and tax rises.
Even if recent reports that suggest he will increase benefits and pensions in line with prices prove to be correct, there are still big questions over local housing allowance (still frozen despite rising rents) and the benefit cap (which will catch thousands more tenants if the thresholds stay frozen) and housing budgets already eroded by inflation look vulnerable to cuts in capital spending.
On tax, the stamp duty cut was one of the few measures proposed in the mini-Budget in September that has survived the demise of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng. So far at least.
But there has been very little debate about where the tax burden should really fall, and in particular about the balance between taxes on income and taxes on wealth.Read the rest of this entry »