Nigel Farage tonight hit out at the huge tax burden as he gave his verdict on Jeremy Hunt’s Budget. The GB News presenter said taxes have reached their highest point since Clement Attlee was Prime Minister 70 years ago and claimed the Chancellor does not have “an ounce of radicalism in his body”.
But in his largely gloomy assessment of the Budget, Mr Farage celebrated a major Brexit win.
The former MEP hailed the “Brexit pubs guarantee”, which takes advantage of tax flexibility since leaving the European Union.
The measure will see duty on draught pints up to 11p lower than in supermarkets – although drinkers will see tax on alcohol soar from August in line with inflation.
Speaking on his GB News show, the ex-Brexit Party leader said: “There was our Chancellor. He was so breezy, he was so jolly, he was so optimistic.
“I mean he wasn’t quite as boosterish as Boris but for all the world you wouldn’t have thought this is one of the biggest strike days we’ve had in the last 40 years, you wouldn’t have thought the London Stock Market was plummetting the worst it has since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The big disappointment with the budget, I think, was that every single detail of it had been launched and leaked already, so we kind of knew what the content was going to be.
“But there was one thing I hadn’t expected, the “Brexit pubs guarantee”, well how about that? If ever there was something to cheer up Nigel Farage surely it was that.
“Well the price of a pint might be a little bit cheaper in the pub. What they didn’t tell you was from August 1 there are huge increases on bottles of wine, on spirits, at home and all the rest of it.
“What did I think overall? I don’t think there was an ounce of radicalism in Jeremy Hunt’s body. I think the truth of it is that the tax burden will continue to go up.
“We are now as individuals, particularly those that are working, more taxed than we’ve been at any time since Clement Attlee was there in Number 10 and we’re going back 70 years.
“There were one or two things that might work, the childcare reforms, if that gets women back to work it’s a very good thing.
“But I thought Hunt’s demeanour against the reality of where we are made a very big contrast.”
In a Budget aimed at increasing the numbers of people in work and the productivity of British firms, the Chancellor said the UK would avoid a recession and was “proving the doubters wrong”.
But the size of the economy is still forecast to shrink this year, living standards are the worst on record and the tax burden remains on course to be the highest since the Second World War.
Mr Hunt used his Budget to confirm free childcare support will be widened, extend household energy assistance and revamp the amount savers can have in their pensions before being taxed.
There were also benefit changes to encourage those on long-term sick leave back to work and investment incentives for businesses.