Budget case

Chancellor Philip Hammond tried to play it safe with last week’s Budget, making no revolutionary changes. Though a rosier economic outlook has given him some room for manoeuvre, he kept his powder dry, perhaps in case Brexit causes future problems. The Budget’s effect on UK Gilts and the pound was notably muted. Nonetheless, Hammond still managed to annoy some backbench MPs of his own party, who spoke out against his plans to raise National Insurance contributions for the self-employed. He said he was trying to make the tax system fairer; they argued that he was penalising entrepreneurs.