Forman & Son MD Lance Forman is not impressed with the Autumn Statement

PUBLISHED: 12:35 06 December 2016


The Chancellor ended his Autumn Statement saying “We are bold in our vision”.

I am not sure which is a greater breach of the Trade Descriptions Act; either that this was “bold” or that there is a “vision”.

The world is changing at an extraordinary pace. The results of our Referendum and the election of Donald Trump are perhaps the most significant political decisions of the last 50 years, and in response, in his first statement, the Chancellor simply tinkers around the edges. Where is the boldness? Where is the vision?

The reason people are now rejecting what politicians have delivered over the last generation is because it simply doesn’t work. We need a major overhaul. We need to focus on private sector growth rather than redistribution of an ever shrinking cake. Growth solves everything, including immigration, as no one cares about immigration when they are doing well.

Rather than stating the obvious, which is that growth is weak, and spouting the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) forecasts that growth will become weaker; the Chancellor should have been telling us what measures he is putting in place to stimulate growth. There were none.

For one, he should have slashed corporation tax to 10 per cent. Why wait to see what The Donald does and then follow? Why not lead the way? Business is the driver of the economy and Mr Hammond should have done everything he could to unleash its power to create wealth and create jobs. Instead he did nothing for business except increase its costs. Maybe he wants to prove the OBR right – as with a budget like this, there is not much hope we will grow. Oh, how I wish I was Chancellor!

Claiming one has a bold vision and then unleashing a timid tinker is another reason people no longer trust politicians and voted for change. More from Lance

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