It would have been difficult for the Chancellor to announce tax changes in the autumn which are aimed at recouping the costs of the pandemic, whilst the country is still in the grip of a second wave and many businesses and individuals will be looking at having to pay deferred income tax, Corporation Tax and VAT liabilities and start repayments on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme in the first quarter of 2021.
What we need from the Chancellor now is a promise that there will not be overnight tax changes announced in the autumn, or reforms which put additional burden on individuals and businesses. A promise from the Chancellor now will remove the ambiguity which is worrying people and at least provide some certainty over the next six months.
He could go a step further and extend the deadline for repayments of the deferred tax liabilities for individuals and businesses that really need it the most. This would at least provide some comfort to those that are facing a bleak winter ahead.
The Chancellor has an extremely difficult job ahead of him; needing to balance the rising risk of unemployment, whilst also balancing the books. However, having gone so far already in his quest to preserve jobs, it would be a shame to see the billions already spent wasted with no fresh targeted measures of support.