Both Minted and I bear the scars of years of doing Budget Day reporting at national newspapers: frankly usually a long, boring day interspersed with panicked ring-arounds tracking down someone – anyone – affected by whatever obscure measure the Chancellor of the day has thrown into the mix unexpectedly.
So we waited for today’s speech by the charismatic Philip Hammond with less than appropriate enthusiasm. Given that today is also International Women’s Day, here’s our X chromosome take on the Budget – accompanied by a nice pic of the alternative briefcase that surely the Chancellor should have used to carry his speech today.
As one of the self-employed, I will be hit by the Chancellor’s decision to put my rate of National Insurance up to the same level as those employed gradually – reaching 11% by 2019. I know it’s not much cash, but most self-employed people are like me and don’t earn a fortune so it’s not a help. And as a self-employed worker, I don’t get paid holidays, work security, sick leave or benefits for being unemployed. That’s not going to change – but I’m going to pay more tax (which is what NI is by any other name). Thanks, Phil. And moves to get women back to work are fine - as are free childcare provisions - but there are still barriers to mothers working: such as who will pick the kids up from school if you're got a full time job?
Trying to find something positive for personal finances from this Budget (and ignoring those already announced such as increases in personal allowances and Isas) then I guess confirmation that the National Savings & Investments three year fixed bond at 2.2% on a maximum of £3,000 is ok. I reckon it works out at about £200 if you leave the full £3,000 in which isn't much. And given that inflation is expected to be 2.4% next year and close to that for the years either side, the rate doesn't look that great, All of a bit of an anti-climax, really: just like most other Budget Days.