Clive Bull is Leading Britain's Conversation, including the Health Hour from 9pm
9 March 2017, 15:30
James O'Brien On Why Brexit Is Hanging Over The Budget
Why did the Chancellor target self-employed people rather than big business in the Budget? James O'Brien says Brexit has made that impossible.
James O'Brien says there's a reason the government can't go after big business in the Budget and has to hike taxes for the self-employed. Brexit.
Caller Ian was discussing the National Insurance hikes for the self-employed and wondered why the government can't pursue big businesses instead of sole traders.
James sought to help him understand why there was connection between yesterday's Budget and Ian's own decision to vote out.
"Why do you think they're bringing down corporation tax by 2021?" asked James, pointing out that post-Brexit, we have to do what we can to keep global firms in the UK.
"The idea that the Chancellor, when we have our begging bowl out to big business...why would the Chancellor do anything to make Britain less attractive?
"With the greatest of respect, my friend, I live in a country where 52% of people who voted in the referendum swallowed the notion that we have to be open for business.
"You're now phoning me up to complain that the Chancellor hasn't been nasty to business."
That prompted Ian to confess if there was another referendum now, he'd vote Remain "because it's been so badly done on all sides."
James's response? "If only some people had warned about that, eh?
"It's not your fault mate. The point you're making is brilliant - until I point out that because of Brexit, we can't do that.
"We are desperate, post-Brexit, for every business."
After the call, James reflected on his despair at hearing good men like Ian grasping the truth of life post-Brexit: "The level of frustration one feels, hearing that decent, hard-working man, realising the scale of the con that has been played on this country."