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The Adam Smith Institute Responds to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

Daniel Pryor, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, responded to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

“Today's statement was a return to managed decline.

Entering a recession promising the highest tax burden in three-quarters of a century does not strike the right balance between fiscal credibility and growth. The Chancellor highlighted the harms of inflation, then added fuel to fire by threatening yet more tax threshold freezes—undermining productivity whilst hitting the pockets of people across the income spectrum.  

There were some positive steps on making support for vulnerable households more targeted, but little in the way of genuine pro-growth reform: the only sustainable way of tackling debt, improving public services and giving people the chance of a better future. 

In five years time, the average household will be poorer than they were before the pandemic. If we want to avoid that scenario, the Conservative Party must address the imagination deficit at the heart of British politics.”

In response to the Chancellor’s welfare announcements, Emily Fielder, Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute, said: 

“The Chancellor’s decision to move towards a more targeted energy support system is long overdue. The combined approach of targeted cash transfers and benefits uprating protects vulnerable households and moves away from unnecessary subsidies for those on higher incomes. However, the Government should also be means-testing its untargeted £300 payment to pensioners—an unnecessary giveaway to many affluent households in an otherwise stark statement.

The Chancellor also promised targeted energy support for businesses. As we have previously highlighted, this should take the form of extensive government-backed loans, rather than further tinkering with business rates or continuing energy price freezes.” 

Notes to editors: 

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact our press line, Emily Fielder, | +44 7584 778207

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, neoliberal think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

The Autumn Statement 2022 speech

Chancellor delivers plan for stability, growth and public services

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