08/03/2017 The Papers


08/03/2017

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coming in for his injured Ulster team-mate Andrew Trimble Rob Kearney

:00:00.3:59:59

picked upn a groin injury in their win over the French

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be

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With me are Ruth Lea, Economic Adviser at Arbuthnot

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Banking Group, and Caroline Wheeler, Political Editor at

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Good to see you both, it has been an interesting day. We start with the

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Telegraph and its take on the budget is the Tories have broken their

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manifesto pledge not to raise taxes. The Guardian described the

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Chancellor is falling into a tax trap over his approach to national

:00:50.:00:58.

insurance. The Times describes the policy as a tax on red, while the

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express says Philip Philip Hammond is laying down the tracks for the

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Brexit move. The Daily Express asks what is so funny. The mail shows a

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picture of Philip Hammond and says it is no laughing matter. All the

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references are to joked and laughed. This is a man who is supposed to be

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very dour, a spreadsheet guy, a policy wonk, but he is cracking

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jokes as if he was Les Dawson. The most surprising thing about his

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budget speech was that because we knew it. We knew there would be

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extra money for social care, education, Betty level, or help for

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business rates. We read about the national insurance contributions

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rising and we knew the OBR would be changing their forecast. So the

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jokes were the surprise. But still it has to be said, Caroline, the

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front page of The Times, Philip Hammond's ?2 billion tax rate. The

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indications were that this was going to happen, he was going to have to

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do something about social care and he would have to find the money

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somewhere and that national insurers would be the area that was hit, but

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it was still a shock. We had an indication this was

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thinking was going. It is surprising the Conservative Chancellor would

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electricians, the make-up artists who have just done our make up. The

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idea is was that an impact assessment done on this? Theresa May

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said she was a country that works for everyone and not just the

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does not extend to those people who does not extend to those people who

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are self employed seem surprising to many of us, that these are the

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losers of this budget, when there will be many of those who are in the

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bracket. Also people who are running their own businesses who are self

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employed, many of them are the backbone of this country, the small

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shopkeepers, the people who do all those jobs that we need them to do.

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The idea they will be worse off as a result of this is a surprise. I got

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a tweet earlier saying the BBC, the BBC, you are so negative about the

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budget. I am self employed, I do not mind paying a little extra because

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the money will go to social care. That is very generous of that

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particular lady, but I would like to add to what Caroline said about the

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self employed. It is not just national insurance contributions

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that will be increased. There is the dividend allowance and if you are an

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incorporated self-employed person you can pay a dividend. The current

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allowance is ?5,000 and it will be cut down to ?2000. Plus the flat

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rate VAT scheme which is rather technical, there will be a

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disadvantage there. For the self employed, and I include myself in

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that bracket, there are now three different measures which have made

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it more difficult for people to be self-employed and to produce the

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incentive is to be self-employed. It is already difficult because you do

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not get holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay. But that is part of

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the argument. What he is doing, as well as finding money for social

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care, is bringing parity between those who are employed with staff

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jobs and contracts and those who are freelance because they have been out

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of kilter. In terms of what they pay, but in terms of the benefits,

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he says they can get away with it because they have already tinkered

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with the state pension. The self-employed are now entitled to a

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full state pension. But if I am sick and I work for a company, I will be

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paid. It is a hassle being self employed, not least of all doing the

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VAT returns. I feel I deserve that bit of extra money! It is a hassle

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being self-employed. Let's go on to the Daily Telegraph. In this story

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it is the fact that before the 20 15th election the Conservatives said

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they would not raise taxes. In fact, the Daily Telegraph has on the front

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very commitment to you from that manifesto, no increases in VAT,

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national insurance contributions and income tax. They have broken a

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promise. I am afraid they have. If I may change the subject, I agree with

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that... You want to talk about Barcelona winning? It is interesting

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income tax is mentioned. What did not come out in this budget is that

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personal allowances will go up and April ?211,500 and the high rates

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will go up and that was not mentioned at all. If I had been

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Philip Hammond, I would have set I have got a nasty surprise for the

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self employed, but do not worry, I am putting personal allowances up.

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He mentioned the living wage is going up to ?7.50. He could have

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sugared the bill a bit. You are right about the tax break, but it is

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more than that, it is an ideological break which is something we have

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seen to read a good time and time again. From the moment she appointed

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her own Cabinet and sacked all the Notting Hill set and brought in her

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own people, she signalled a break with the camera an agenda which was

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very much in tune with George Osborne in terms of bringing taxes

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down and making the state as small as possible. It seems Philip Hammond

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is cut from a different cloth. Allister Heath's commentary in the

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Telegraph is very much talking about this idea that there are two camps.

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Those who believe the state should be involved and they should raise

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lots of taxes and do lots of things, and those who think you should step

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back and keep taxes low and let other sectors take on

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responsibility. Theresa May and Philip Hammond believed they can get

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away with breaking a policy pledge because there is no one to pick them

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up on it. Is that the implication? The Labour Party are whatever and

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the SNP have however many MPs, but they can get away with it. That is

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right. The Labour Party is polling 25%, that is extraordinary. Labour

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and the opposition generally are pretty good at flagging up

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warning signs. They have been going on for several weeks about the rate

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rises, so they were on message today. They saw that storm brewing

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and they headed it off today. They put in changes to business rates

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which have been causing such as headache to the government in these

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last couple of weeks. But what they did not do with this one is the

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opposition were not on the ball enough to see this coming, so the

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government did not get the warning signs they would often get when they

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could see that they are walking into trouble. When I read about the

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national insurance contributions last week it was described as

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controversial. It was not as if this was not controversial... Clearly

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they did not make anything out of it. They have already won a

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by-election. Copeland. In a way they should not have done. But on the

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front page of the Guardian, Philip Hammond falls into a tax trap. What

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are they trying to get across? It is the notion that they have broken a

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manifesto pledge which in political terms is a no-no. They cannot be

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trusted. Exactly. It is you implicating and implementing

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something which you yourself have said is bad. In that sense it is a

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trap. Again we come back to who is going to pull them up on this trap?

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Is the Labour Party going to be able to make enough noise on this issue

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that it will force Philip Hammond into a U-turn. In this instance you

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will see more of a noise on the Conservative backbenchers because

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they know they will harm more of their own. We have already seen

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rumblings in the 1922 committee, which is usually a barometer of

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where things stand in the Conservative Party and people like

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John Redwood have been speaking this evening saying it was a daft idea, a

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tax on enterprise. That is the trap and it is if he will get out of it

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now. I do not think he will do a U-turn. Most of the papers are

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running on the same story. That is the irony. There is something about

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the economy as well. Some of this money is going to social care, that

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was a big issue going into the budget. He has made an effort to try

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and deal with that, although many people are saying 3 million over the

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next few years, 1 million this year and 2 million later on, that is not

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enough. It cannot be enough, especially in the longer term

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dealing with an ageing population. I think funding social care and the

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paper they are bringing out is well overdue. The truth is we have to

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think very hard as we get an ageing population how we will fund social

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care and the NHS. This debate has hardly begun. We need to have it. It

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is difficult for him if you have this kind of red as it is being

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portrayed. Despite van man. That is the front page. The Sun newspaper is

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making the point that the Chancellor is hitting the self employed. We

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have seen the number of self-employed rise dramatically in

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the last few years. It is appealing to its readers, many of whom are

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white van men and women. They have been hit by this. The problem he has

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got is that self-employed people fall into every walk of life. They

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will be people earning lots of money right at the top like barristers.

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But the problem he has got is the notion he is kind of robbing Peter

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to pay Paul in terms of the social care crisis and the problem he stuck

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with it he has not solved the social care crisis. 1 billion pounds this

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year is less than a third of what the local authorities are predicting

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is the black hole in the funding formula for this year alone. He is

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not solving one problem by creating another and that will be a political

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nightmare for him. Tax raid on the self-employed, it is smoke and

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mirrors. It looks as if he is doing something and this 1 billion this

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year to immediately inject some cash in the system will help. I know some

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local authorities are pleased about that, but there has to be a

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strategic vision about where we go in terms of social care stop

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absolutely and this is why I will be interested to see the green paper

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when it comes out. There has been a debate, but it has not been pushed

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hard enough. It is not a new issue and a lot of reports have looked

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into this subject, but nothing substantive has changed. I wrote a

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piece on the NHS 15 years ago saying it was not sustainable because we

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had an ageing population and increasingly expensive treatments

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and it was pushed into the long grass. Those issues will come back

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time and time again. That statistic is really striking, every child at

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this point today, one in three, will live to about 100. On that very

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population, ageing by the minute. It population, ageing by the minute. It

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is a bottomless pit. This is why you is a bottomless pit. This is why you

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have to start thinking of other means of financing that and

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inevitably it will be some sort of insurance system. The Daily Express.

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The wider implications budget. This is paving the way for a

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smooth EU exit. Cautious Philip Hammond repairs Britain to break

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with Brussels. That is really the autumn budget. Article 50 will have

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been triggered. Yes, absolutely. It is a different interpretation of the

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same story, but they have tried to put a slightly more positive spin on

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it, although they have the same strapline. What they are trying to

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suggest is the forecasts in terms of government spending forecasts have

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been pessimistic. We know Brexit looks a bit rosier than we thought,

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which gives us a float as we set sail for Brexit. Set sail! It could

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happen in a week that we trigger Article 50. There are other

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suggestions it may not be until the end of the month. But the idea that

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we are going into this project is a bit of a leap in the unknown with

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the wind in our sales from the economy is something the Daily

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Express feels their readers want to read about. Because of the OBR's

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favourable forecast for the next 12 months at least he has got a bit

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more petrol in the tank as well, but he will not splash it out. He will

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save it in case the headwinds do get a bit choppy. He is right to do

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that. Even if it was not for Brexit, we need fiscal discipline in this

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country. We have still got a deficit of 2.5% of the GDP. Our debt is

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about 85% of GDP, it is enormous. You would still need some austerity.

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But this story is interesting because the OBR has been obliged to

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push up its forecast to 2%. Yet again he is forecasting

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organisations have been caught by the fact they were all terribly

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negative about what was going to happen. I was saying it was going to

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be fine. I was a maverick. If you are a maverick and you are wrong,

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you are wrong. If you are a group thinker and you are wrong, you are

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right. The predictions were on Article 50 being triggered on June

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the 25th. And a lot were not. That is true. It would not have made any

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difference. We will never know. Finally, we are going to mix

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together the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror and show our viewers

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what the front pages are saying. Here they come. The Daily Mirror on

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the left. What is so funny, Prime Minister? The Daily Mail,

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laughing matter. Both of them are making the point that he tried to

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put some jokes in their anti-tried to look beyond the spreadsheet Phil

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policy geek label, but fundamentally this was a crucial budget in terms

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of the way that this government looks as it moves towards Brexit.

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Yes, exactly. Both of them are not normal bedfellows, the Daily Mirror

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and the Daily Mail. But we have got the same gist. We have got Theresa

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May and Philip Hammond laughing and the message is that the message that

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comes out of the budget will not go down particularly well with the

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readers of the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail. That is something for

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the government to worry about. When you are getting papers that are

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diametrically opposed and they are using the same line, you basically

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offended both sides of the divide and that is very worrying for her as

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we are so close to Brexit when we will need all the support we can

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have. I have been told we have got to end, so there you go. It has been

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a pleasure looking at some of the stories behind the front pages. All

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of them have simply been about the budget.

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Don't forget you can see the front pages of the papers online

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It's all there for you, seven days a week at bbc.couk/papers.

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If you miss the programme any evening, you can watch it

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