Rishi Sunak has splashed out billions in grants and tax breaks to shore up and revive ­crippled firms

RISHI Sunak has bet the farm on fuelling a historic two-year boom to bail out our ­broken economy.

Provided inflation stays low, it’s the right course.

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Even the Office for Budget Responsibility, not famous for its ­exuberant optimism, reckons we are poised to roar back — with FAR lower unemployment than first feared too.

The Chancellor’s Budget contained a blizzard of welcome tax breaks designed to transform post-Brexit, post-Covid Britain into a super-strength magnet for investment and jobs.

And despite the almost unimaginable hole the pandemic has blown in the public finances, there were still nuggets for Sun readers to cheer.

Mr Sunak froze duty on booze and, once again, on fuel –— another triumph for The Sun’s decade-long campaign. We were spared rises in income tax, National Insurance and VAT rates.

The living wage goes up. The Universal Credit increase is maintained for longer. Those still furloughed have a few more months’ security. Likewise any self-employed still unable to work.

Billions were splashed out in grants or tax breaks to shore up and revive ­crippled firms.

Overall tax will be highest in decades

There will be delight in the former Red Wall seats at the £1billion fund for regenerating towns — and in the eight sites for new, job-creating free ports.

Some young house-hunters will rejoice at new Government-backed 95 per cent mortgages, though we do fear prices will soar ever higher without a vast increase in the supply of properties.

But there was bleak news too.

Our overall tax burden is ultimately poised to rise to its highest in decades.
The freeze on tax thresholds from 2023 will hit millions. Mr Sunak justifiably claims no one will take home less than they do now, but the billions raised still come from workers’ increasing wages.

The sharp hike in corporation tax The Sun has warned against is coming too, but was wisely also postponed for two years and limited to the biggest firms.

We hope Mr Sunak will in time revise it downwards. There is surely a risk, if investment is still pouring in, of ­slamming a brake on it.

Official forecasts show depressingly flat growth beyond 2022 — but they may be pessimistic. No one can know how well the Chancellor’s plan will work.

What is certain is that Keir Starmer’s, such as it is, would not. His priority, a pay rise for NHS workers, is a strange way to tackle a gargantuan debt whether you agree with it or not.

The floundering Labour leader even resorted to resurrecting his failed ­“circuit-breaker lockdown” brainwave which Wales tested to destruction.

Yes, it is tough to respond to a Budget. Even so, Starmer’s vacuous riposte was one Jeremy Corbyn might have delivered.

It really was that bad.

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