Onward Logo Colour White 2021

The verdict: A Budget packed to the rafters with promises and light on the means to pay for them

City AM

Director Will Tanner writes for City AM, outlining his response to the 2021 Budget and Spending Review. He writes:

”Sunak had a much easier set of choices than he led us to believe. The OBR’s growth upgrade to 6 per cent for 2022 and scarring downgrade from 3 per cent to 2 per cent handed the Chancellor £50bn a year extra to play with. He did not have to choose between real terms increases for almost every department and delivering a surplus by 2024/5.

How he used that fiscal firepower was notable: reducing the taper rate on Universal Credit, increasing the minimum wage, investing in family hubs, and cutting both beer duty and high street business rates. These strengthen the social fabric of our communities. He also started his long term vision with skills, apprenticeships and R&D spending. But there were no long-term plans for business rates reform, planning, council tax or online sales tax. Road pricing and carbon taxes were also missing.

You can read the full response here.

REPORT
Will tax cuts help the levelling up agenda?

Tax cuts are necessary to make the UK economy more competitive, but the Government will also need to deliver better public services and stronger communities to really level up the UK.

REPORT
An Emergency Response to the Energy Crisis: a 5-point plan for the new Prime Minister

Onward's response to the Energy Crisis, setting out a 5-point plan for the new Prime Minister to help households and keep the lights on.

REPORT
The Kids Aren't Alright: the 4 factors driving a dangerous detachment from democracy

Why young people are detaching from democracy and social norms – and what to do about it

REPORT
Reviving the Visitor Economy: 4 deep challenges facing the tourism sector post-pandemic

Summary report of an Onward and Airbnb roundtable, exploring how to help tourism and the visitor economy bounce back post-pandemic.

REPORT
Going Green: New technologies and behaviour change for net zero

How nudges and collective incentives can help people adopt new technologies and change their behaviours for net zero.

REPORT
Rocket Science: How can the UK become a science superpower?

If the UK is to be a “science superpower”, we need to rethink our strategy for science.