Responding to the budget statement given by the chancellor of the exchequer, John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"While the budget reduced tax overall, we are still on course for the biggest tax burden since 1969. Economic forecasts are of very limited use, but if the chancellor really believes that growth is going to be as weak as the Office for Budget Responsibility does he could have announced some targeted pro-growth tax cuts to give businesses a boost.
"The government is still wasting far too much of our money and despite still running a deficit, the chancellor announced several big spending pledges that we really can't afford. The national debt now stands at £1.8 trillion and while it was good to hear that the forecasts are heading in the right direction, we must always remember that this burden will be passed on to future generations."
On the pledge to build more houses, he said:
"The chancellor is right to say that we need to build more houses. However, the Government’s new target to build 300,000 homes a year cannot be met without major reform of Britain’s hopeless planning system to free up more land for development. By refusing to contemplate building on parts of the green belt where people actually want to live, the government will make it almost impossible to reach its own target."
On changes to stamp duty, he said:
"If the chancellor understands that stamp duty is causing havoc in the housing market, then why is he only making this change for first time buyers? Stamp duty should be scrapped for everyone, so that more people are able to buy and sell their homes, move for new jobs and downsize. At the very least, Mr Hammond should have cut all rates of this destructive tax in half."
On freezing alcohol duties, he said:
“By freezing alcohol duties Mr Hammond showed he is on the side of British pub-goers who enjoy a drink or two after a hard day's work. The TPA campaigned passionately to give British pubs a break in this budget, and freezing the tax on drinks will mean more jobs, more growth and more money in the pockets of taxpayers. A brandy for Santa, a glass of mulled wine and a few beers will taste all the sweeter this Christmas."
TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews in the run-up to the budget and on the day itself via 07795 084 113 (no texts)