Kwasi Kwarteng’s first set piece as Chancellor of the Exchequer was never going to be easy, even before the 0.5% increase in interest rates the day before. The new Prime Minister Liz Truss revealed much of what we might expect before Mr Kwarteng spoke a word.
So we already knew that there would be:
- a two-year £2,500 Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) for consumers;
- similar but shorter-lived support for businesses and other non-domestic energy users;
- cuts to National Insurance Contribution (NIC) rates; and
- a reversal of the planned April 2023 increases in the rate of corporation tax.
Nevertheless, Mr Kwarteng’s launch of ‘The Growth Plan’ contained some surprises, including the end of additional rate income tax (outside Scotland) and the reversal of recent changes to IR35.