Wednesday, 26th May, 2021

Plenty of ex-finance ministers will have been looking enviously at the position the government found itself in at last Thursday’s budget. Budgets are usually something of a zero-sum game.  Every extra piece of tax relief or extra spending somewhere has to be balanced by a tax rise, more debt issuance or cuts elsewhere. Invariably, the ‘losers’ are more vocal than the ‘winners,’ and even relatively benign-seeming measures can put noses out of joint (for a great example of this overseas, check out the weeks long row the UK government triggered with its ‘pasty tax’).