08/03/2017 The Papers


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


picked upn a groin injury in their win over the French


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


With me are Ruth Lea, Economic Adviser at Arbuthnot


Banking Group, and Caroline Wheeler, Political Editor at


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


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


manifesto pledge not to raise taxes. The Guardian described the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


business rates. We read about the national insurance contributions


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


thinking was going. It is surprising the Conservative Chancellor would


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


self employed. It is not just national insurance contributions


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


national insurance contributions and income tax. They have broken a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


back and keep taxes low and let other sectors take on


responsibility. Theresa May and Philip Hammond believed they can get


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


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


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


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


and the opposition generally are pretty good at flagging up


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


national insurance contributions last week it was described as


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


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


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


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


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


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


trusted. Exactly. It is you implicating and implementing


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


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


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


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


will see more of a noise on the Conservative backbenchers because


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


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


where things stand in the Conservative Party and people like


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have seen the number of self-employed rise dramatically in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


had an ageing population and increasingly expensive treatments


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


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


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


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


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


have to start thinking of other means of financing that and


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


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


smooth EU exit. Cautious Philip Hammond repairs Britain to break


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


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


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


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


suggest is the forecasts in terms of government spending forecasts have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


organisations have been caught by the fact they were all terribly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of them have simply been about the budget.


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


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


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