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Autumn Budget: Expert comments from University of Warwick economists

Following Chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement of the Autumn Budget, experts from the Department of Economics comment on some of the thinking behind policy decisions and the impact they might have.

Professor Ben Lockwood comments: “In my research with colleagues from the Centre for Business Taxation at the University of Oxford, we study the effect of business property taxes on the utilization of business properties in the UK, using property relief schemes such as Retail Relief to identify the effect of the tax on vacancy and occupation rates of business properties. We found that Retail Relief is the most effective of these schemes, delivering the most “bang for the buck” in terms of reducing vacancy rates, and on the basis of our research, we expect the 50% relief for retail and hospitality businesses just announced by the Chancellor for 2022/23 to have a major positive impact.”

Read a blog on business rates co-authored by Professor Lockwood:

Professor Abhinay Muthoo comments: “The UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, set out his Budget yesterday afternoon, in Parliament. Several spending pledges had already been announced over the preceding days including that the minimum wage would be increased to £9.50, an increase of about 7%, and that the NHS would receive an additional £6bn which is on top of the recently announced £12bn from the Health and Social Care levy.

“The Chancellor faced the toughest and most uncertain economic situation and environment in peacetime, tougher than that faced after the 2007/08 financial and economic crisis. He was on the one hand concerned about economic growth over the coming period, which remains fragile, but at the same time he was concerned about making a start of bringing the public finances under control. Not easy to square these twin objectives, and in the current context when inflation is rising, and people, businesses and communities need continued support. And further investment is also needed in health, education, the climate crisis and the “levelling up” agenda.

“The Chancellor Rishi Sunak continued, in this Budget, to be bold and imaginative, as he was last year, when he noted that he would do whatever it takes. Unprecedented times do call for unprecedented approaches, policies and rules.”

28 October 2021

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