This is not a budget for families. The Chancellor recognises that families need help with the high cost of living but he has done nothing to ease parents’ struggle with rising childcare costs. Increasing personal tax allowances are good for those in work, but the childcare cuts due next month will lead low income parents – particularly mothers – to give up work. Savings from squeezing childcare tax credits will be offset by the loss of income tax revenue as parents leave their jobs.
“The moratorium on any new domestic employment laws for three years for micro businesses is disappointing. There is a danger that there will be a bigger gap between the best employers and the rest. Good employers know that offering strong employee benefits boosts commitment and performance. It is a shame that the Government don’t encourage all employers – of whatever size – to heed the business case that flexible working is good for the bottom line. Instead, they have unpicked their earlier commitment to parents to extend flexible working for parents of 17 year olds.