Many of the changes announced by the Chancellor in his statement on 8 July, such as the temporary Stamp Duty holiday, had already been leaked to the press but as in previous Budgets he still managed to keep a few surprises up his sleeve.
The main thrust of his statement was to introduce measures intended to avoid widespread redundancies when the current furlough scheme comes to an end in November. There was also welcome news for the hospitality sector with the temporary reduction in the VAT rate to 5% and the 50% discount for food in catering establishments in August.
The cost of the new measures announced was another £30 billion on top of the £158 billion already spent by the Government supporting employees and businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic started. In addition there is a further £123 billion in loan guarantees and tax deferrals, some of which may not be recovered.
One day all of this will need to be repaid, but now is not the time for tax increases, quite the opposite.