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A progressive or regressive Budget on tax?

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Has this Budget has given us a more regressive or progressive tax system?

Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, said that "overall it's somewhere in the middle" with the largest giveaways being personal allowances offset by the "granny tax" which benefits the lower middle to upper middle sections of society.

He went on to say that that is "much more important than what is being done on the top rate" and essentially "redistributes towards the middle from the two ends".

Dr DeAnne Julius, chairman of think tank Chatham House, said the cumulative effect pointed to it being a "clearly progressive" Budget showing that "the richest ten percent have suffered biggest loss than any of the other... and the middle 60 percent suffered the least", adding that it "does not squeeze the middle".

In terms of growth promotion measure, Martin Wolf said the Chancellor "talked a very good game" but fiscally this is neutral.

He said that a cut in corporation tax is the most significant growth promotion measure but admitted he was "not convinced it is a good idea".

He said he would rather we would encourage corporate investment rather than corporate retention.

Dr Julius agreed on corporation tax and said that it was an indication that the UK was moving in a direction to make the UK more competitive which is "absolutely mainstream policy".

"We can't afford to do much more," she said, because of reducing the deficit.


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