After Trump and Brexit Shocks, UK Finance Minister Hopes to Ease Voters’ Frustrations

JFIF;CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80 C   %# , #&')*)-0-(0%()(C   ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( " }!1AQa"q2#BR$3br %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz w!1AQaq"2B #3Rbr $4%&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz ?ڐRA֙#tdP)Mf4)cA~1~)iMDJP!iq~H֣-MfA4g}V|=Eh ;1F8cIxZpS`-!4SM&i7QF(CPZGz@!IڟM"R(iǥG@ƑJSF(̼ܰU+OP=@-Ii) qji4@-9iԶǖ*T7ApriE=OKyO!y]f b3)D_b hXY.С8iRgSw'oUas|hUF—U>?un΢;kw0}i.ܔLۺ󗧯~Q`YLgX$PJ4go1\=@o>TXKa ~~ Ke|vTYH"8W4`Ҫ`!e4NPz؁r>ڃfSH ɸr*#Rq!@05 gҀ+柎)qIL94JVq}<+>%Êd\M6xq)˜QILa@ P)vt+LE.B ``NiPsR)1JQ`$YZj>SF{4*B9"!"# N5+E4U\欘9,ۃRH"[Ljқ*v_tNx4`5)<SjʤRjǚS(rAljˏeNuGQ0ݚ ys=M:"wK)U䏭l[B~q9=kkoijd|;PŇC 9sׇ+{e6K5̜]2zaռdBq?4ӞUnurW8׏a+K\6He$1ݏpj.3Ѭds.tseEm*QDX5P;F%I3=;Q/#!Pڀ>\V9Lʆ>xWq+zۖsچo  g/Ue`H{OF r*U>%bqԜW_.\>cNuTf94\̌]uOީjZmҔt+?oS{ڊd'W !KG*hʼce,Z#מ\|>խ!+8gvRZLwu\fԒN=qgSmn CV|שYNXg4|r+c[.쉼FP[2c>pIJzdeh5PUʊ9M1ӭ&49 2) 4܊c E€'Vt h7J(YH6րEFAY#a\Dɧ⤍0)̴qK K1򆩑z1šZJPSWbpɚq `WI|F)OzW,5 !GaYP{1$sL0=%J- 𩅪ޙ{SZWj#oM8&e [dԂҥYT GzG޹隻p֙-= 1Z,(4as)Th=jU=EMHЊmj{SEO& WPdPqf=M iV1sր!K,&Ո_QRwmj/r }}M!}ErE/✰ެ Tq.jo3'44хlȪn֐͞_#=6axJ. l}j#l{u.@5:ǁ֑ ;>$ă֞b1E2d`M7拌 DAN _4g"6kSՁ(+=i -֏Zm\8rEh+QhYXxU>zչmU˂x1pCƽ\{Zyj1ۍAܟ@+3MnV2j(y;GhKu>E_0:/ 6:VnP3>>Ki727㧷sK +IE +.!.=COm7rmS?ϥ+-ϓ vV#1“}_¯ +RO>U6/+>|TePD|m$ہOp&-il'SX0B`J/Vݕ68?zkU-ZERS8?΋,eM9 WB}j{DJO^uؒ2HPXJwlqVr:*t VnfΚ  1z v?B_znr]O$qtۥHSM:ci{A&v {ǘ#OP~f=>B_|m+ xJk^7BE7vYp07JO,~jw!ys{'qI(4:"AdѓY-Ÿr>9 X @nmƯkLg0~UtM~dҴ[&p^ 2k1!%jݣ$?~?Z^ IZH,BH{Yܠֳ/k]LnѰy3Ui-W[$wm!(b #j}Ѿ2;NⱞPBޛ.1s(DjxҖVPj1 h>iR3c/+`U94={RMƕpjwiLqHdwbcғaڥYE ԌR3aqEðjx3UD&J=,GoJ21M 4xi +O5BiqTn\`ɦ9hϭ6M0% @N-@JXTe'|R nA@8ԛޛE!,}ibuHԳzh@|cRQ4Z*+N`Ӧ}c!Ic ǚՆ=ç4nz߅շ@{G\hrYrYpvѲ+ \޿ȮoދH쭙%۳d*b_@o~=rkҼE  ya,BW赪/i7!ǗxS=v(\Bj>}JHƻվgh *[k"a8=+U3tQ+LSLC(&}0#& 0z*B$W?z"Kv3[\}1)8j{k˞Mva)LY> hr!b$ЪR|枠w`SI9S&rXHjA6`X8S0P oF]sRMU&48J:O}j7ϭ<;94dR 7!8Tի.c9(<҃HmO&ZSI҂iE ɧFi0C<Ի@@)E R@S)A,(:SI 9>g5&ޣXTf B)٤&暵: hFa8"Jy"7ݬkJq>``0&P4jfiI(,OJ,l[T5v3 \4tԾ](ܯRCL-9!!0/³lm5I;0 +Lj؄;oSE1ӡE5[P =h5jD8SENi:852c5M˜R(m4 ^X9`ќTe k`ihhGصkkOZnJ|&3NHȫüTlA`**Pc毬Pa5V *@cR\Qa\tVۚ T RGb'=ݸIm5ɤkRD<Ցh HqMw'ehpjFi Zv4۹(W4ݤաk'i XaCqLE!pr`K4i Bd#O:o3sQ'ШULp̒ʁ .?qXk4Z|I ˿3IsڕI#vK*aC+&Lh7̧AMzfȄp¼`- 9RAc[QzX殬Acp +{hu+&fەs\،'T>sEd1N!{WB9\:8!k!>`,!BF5)ƴ8 i\FnIֆh O'-D-NTEOҋ}*AN ޔ\V-#۸UTըЬC$]qUpkH^HzS"MXX)CjGr-—p@ ( w𬙑d(h4I7 ՗˛9W(&ߛi9ոAX[1 78jUaߊa4dUv>֐z7S@&W=k 1Ԃ`e܌+dRiu u|\b휲䚟w!ĂҀsTZ qJgf9ԁ:M\{T($>yqX-9'< N:;D:O,7,(Xԣ"0kYF0MUԼ5Rb[㱶\TV`zuV/K/jb{Ѹ֗Xր* X2JI=Ab| {&ɦ\_+F@NH;)'Ď+Qz7f#ϭ;MjT5X1=Gz,6UflSNVyO ۶dc5MXָԐ dUDM߮MaD9M_RFFm=(4t }9{q[rF"ϯalov瞤U-FoK|=*d슂y#ǚpSOֺ[KTX$__z,{bZB'ֻHUr7vwEYieG`;WM`0ZHi%x+VW &#v0\cԗ.h=MHcV"t{_q,k6rz{] +&qL3q\7$6J%cu܎}sW)De}*9f GWkzՇR ҀŹzQ>CP zTWr9>沿uZżPSrBQ6'vqJ b7Pm7tz{  zX_c*vhN⮖U y P|inm+,|ޑ_|jm.9Yup$* ;9PaUu0SL5l@ x"XWH[`f@kUdE3c/:Vtwrz1Ŷ*w`kac":i\2P6U##TԌ Z9 &@((JwN ̃=ՉW pjfh'>5FIn@9HxEG'ZErKyU}[֍h-ʮ튖S5ZN!lIM$@)4h##u>@I-7@Ҵ*gG3RPԹP 5 $M; LGHO5W&ĢCKT94\ fTW](?)ۣ@%bSi߱楲1փ+9 $ @hNڝzpRi=j\lWU CmSZzqqr%>1Nj-7zhdED o2H3GSܒOkoĖ 'Sc+'b.!sBn"_Ąu8սU܉'YB sS(7b?Ʋ`&ܖ?ywpXWk}«M[Ȋ`z-FZc w'hty#+(ǫ6Gkqma\׊04I 8_Z?9[Fz}*ΉN/_UJDڟn݇0=|Cq #v9Tv6Ӕ8!2CJzi>=jWLnkBZY`=k1U`qƒZ֏ʎq<5O?j`:Fp' HSc%^}_!c"6#5'L8SkGn*[,,qQּ]\Ez1Tw4%БޠVU` ]QjUm|gr@=i&dOΣ~ۨ5Ўfs9yKZѳHך͓;IZ;˺rÚsI93SX DY.4ݲ(fs\2t5s֜&V$~ԘSCͻa FiVqlhEH~^ۈT.@[Z<YU,a8-J٨1ƩrlKE kYb|շܬ[6uHDzT0RSCJE(HC(N1昈g>zK4HH)i#5-HqIo9Q,\=&0*UqW9zӚ3JJkPt%P IH;2 {7RSM%Zvjإh0>Tfr\G7/jYQ5ID֣/Z8VS@SHJbM Ax4Nr 1/k1mL%c0楔4#.)`RfG5$ 44"ݯZ4D2QTG5pE=#پ Z }k_;cW]%;2qn$|ƻv(8"Ϝ&=jpiF)j(8^=(z8ij+1co8$9mn ?t*cu/#ӄy3' W5&yy),78=޵Lz56ɞ/.EIsYGi)&6a-i:bXi$2Ixϥv7^Hc<'$*IDR3osw~C{+9kfAfم2/5>=qʸ_r;ԷbN;6E$ddI4b?1^ScU!q+|5A9+DV4^)>P|im#}M{H{WT;~2Y" *r+U1Vn`(|ݼӥGWY{=Mt)Zi\M)7`S!Q/Q:ZխT(1ӬtPoQq w||MvXl?u0kubNr;p@Eb\۔ϥ2g2;7BGu$r 5*CPKTcv) ~hJ>ZА%(UՙzBmEJJ$]V/ AIⲙ⥷9ɂH+KTTU#d#ҘUt3 UVI5R"ԏMSƌFKHzԌcܙc50Vl&W|jBjg;@$y ;UʁN%hIal+R(Ս9'I2⒤sR3bص!jl@Tņ*P힔zUq"~KzRIaxFip 1N;T ͽc7Z߽`P Il6FXI DL;S$Ԫ5H) Ejjc"F݅X$fP2(#o0qS Gȧ+5ܠZaO ,.Ƣ,!cnYFk|0"$=jo43@g}M=mҴ8n]-b!ON@Ly #aq!r<\ʉ6Oz* $ʚ[&"@#JrЃ4Z1J-[À)w-mnwr`&BCc4Y-cOZ~rǥ}q8U{TPIRY82{TχP]ޤmo6t9?ҽDKv9> YB\{ڌWdA= 8gY4vg$zmޠVP7d͗nجi攤M<6ַ-x4\‚=)߼GgOjJm 3ўLfBB{V^lle9~f5ƎMt>i߭>~tj4Vh.P?Ʊg(`Ek~Lzs+Emb 0-y%+ulw5,j޴(8]*8@y3dimt`Amg~Ϊ1y*n*y% 'gh[5)1*y4iR3JLf'pՠp*6O&O3}!49D֠f3`s@FcMQȤ2ךOzϽ9zrr0DăM&/fr?oZ )wV->!4RcDوUKXaZ." [ep88[2~0v$Lls*2/ڷNd u>9T9T|kW&ʛ>խ.*6 yܪjlNןXk){Zz^ɒR摊OCiH$Vns!\r*UN=#S;O͌wO s#vm ?43֋fb5"1x:Gq,W隺KF5_ 8+y 85Ks]e ϽtƇ8]د4\GsDWlV%0ݺÌڲO4I+JŜ4Lc%==WY #֘֘ܚ͵jݧ%jjzEblH ړviy-EEPG4p)#ƮT1C[Hf8bs"Ԋ(&18TSrÚf*Y0Rk9&$,75jqޮZ(@, 1P:I`IWTf5  ;R0h=&) 1"6v¬dӁ8SLSi皡 T.i  tۡցU 9s@k+֮>qIncyڤ$pMhAZvW-RNyI2JE23SȠ $`Cdq xwYr JzuUk{d4ax[*'ѥ93Oڪ12z`WxMCL1HEJ~O}_A<񼐇de"/ {\FѱOm8SIj.#$ Hs\U"cϣٳd2S]1WB;XJ{ΟLQ6qK!x<޵:?(*;Wn'] J*<?Z}!@͞|֗R"G-R8˕Qvfnްu?w+zfY*į.71Rrp{;;;u;xZiRY'<ĸ \MXܫ2kx!5uͳ1y)ӬV'Cޯ&@m )lwcm8UاR/tzF V:{RIv/K}]|u(s"Iq&Si)/ <՝a,ZOQ30ǚ9n2{V&4"zp֝T5Fx72{dJH ǻG;xx8Jc~cM4!gI>[k59d\ʩ&EKVc΄ȤtN < 夒Ӹ\}A՛rEƚOAJʣVާNa[>xzn4pO/ 5]i Gt<7MkI [p >庼rNTḠtw^ZEqnʁс \=Q\=XsލNGgZ*zo`"O|˻Y#+:,(xwtgh#ۯ/>rXdbjnYs$֦Agʾvpb]I!92i'-1n ,+A}*%X󑻭TSUW`{P_V[!omkFy;mEsFxta#n.[ֶN摨o= 8@@ o@.jxG`q>+} :n gAiVMp>&WJxQW[d՜s6ZuqԊ XJ}j G*x5hi$gR|lG)Rʥ8E z'nFOZm^i$昉 a48$i/5H^IRL~Qa^L'44-CBLJw*PQ*xUsVR@ZHlaS4 @MYwV}ݠtf2;3=O&uU) ]{Si'J9q0&' 9-f$Vce&shsԚtN¶'Ѽ'mSf;yC֚SX*i #Bj X:d\`b ɓtx TҪ@=kgџw>e'o˾Ա}ۑ_hz΁jv.R@}?Zf+cO9C9T2jV hCּy. /+C_QJA+>*H/!6O?^Ge aDwm !$(;{k[IR3o8a{篡=RR kV:ogq&'=*խž\NMYPƤB<;@+QCxk?.}MqQrd1p3RsKau?[N8OIS뭗%gsU./F~=ERz|^;ⶴ F|9(eU#CVỏ#q:['qq fFN_Ms9T8V"2(i>}$яJ< 6d~+ׇpb'wʎ y6^1Xku'౮drٖ%I#4ōL#Y5✗Wz3|ةv,q40i@q֫Be4ұonY]Sީ4-If ҫ ߚ*0ԌS4Rq@!>|µ~Į3PC\p_Ij`V|ÊIT@A{R 5F~Zv*wPϚuruI5ԶQbՎ>eO1SBbVV{"*4,Rӱ*E&;Pa6D=jvzCg5^F,ܒiƢc!G1Ul?լU"D5T:R犯ORh)*@iP2Hޑ5NI3c]1.'"j9w&\b㱢HbQ$ML53 4iNjdZ.hm=8v2wsL0"s֘Ċ"@Ťɫ]Y.+IT (efih@\SBɇ5-g&S+y2qUfbzliAT'&+cJ,]­,5i\{*X-˞xZ¥ہ5vt+ڭk$E :U:^VzвRUiCޔ1^5xo<;u'=Gs jm#Ruk[Fqo"ȇڳ*n0k;Q[‡@Aj| Z3_b3]^hV lSRI5qlfr,tB~OeAADֵ 8g,)*b,TvuZkU[qyRF㚪A!΅\w)*&T+9{❩{~x?mwC_x;ZRBB 5 ][$ ⴋ"E[) \W'\kAbjANWI]v>tt,nTcvÏõyMӴrWR#;OkƟ`t3QATEMh 1Ҝ"*Z2O DESU8H m#*\Ժҵٍ}3B{%=5Ϯ)2j?K3U񌊩=j-+;i6b=iJiƐ~jCT~V(Lcq`U=UwrG5{S%"IԅyaJpB߿rETbPhQO9gz *"~9SQ[l R>mҁuTb OJ͔tgFOQJrbX_G)mA7@cKv:#|3Vk} 4sX,v+ۓ:Kfb0Ӽ.SYI7$bĝƚƕcY' _:/Q\ #NgjAc3G"c9?hD)ՙ)h¹o>B~G0rB>p]ڮ2W55hSEPmʂ1\7 xpgC1Rڹĸ|}M4s # rOaƎar[pܦx"_KHfƎaJ!EJD9$W"'Ɵ19܎JիYv M˃51r.8JǸNTXzqOrZ67(O)V$s18&#$S+y\tcQu&sPnErkx&sՍtsU}V8H'1Rhߞs)kɃ>k2#<tr4vz1\V4y;1 i1їjgH!i7H{9??(:+̞=M>`:i&@$;{޶q".Vbǭ(]Xj!l@Of⫳dly9J,j) f% k/ՒG10^8fRIdpnNH6sPllYQ4eN*P*.:{hQӓXC$w2)4nt+en1iQsֹ{"˫Lu:ї"E,@dq\gփ\ SvٲpF*4&K(57C ~è3pR.{ӼA!7F H;˝4LaYRmտHXV_853HԂ>.~B5=R *4W_7Xi<:Mf8J,3CO[9Qe.+m0pӅr#5}ښ=rP6j+6'˥XA5(SM? bH'YԴ I ^i((X[c`V l/ҧ@^jDb<ԋOr愅r? S.)E ESZwkYL>jRO0E&9݊Gb8BSɧ-O5ge=WӰ\-Ck Z6C4$Kf)_Jkڍ}Gri5\#AJYLaOGSm$bAv{1!98x5=3N2R}sV aܪmRB[@T4P-HZPV`fh[ڒjh+v 6UE\ڮ:P-WU\VŲ x_JP❐Wk1RAb`6)>J+\8 w樽{52B'3Ul*&' 9T Q+ҠgCe$=j64ilSғM4e\~M?Q~.wT^#֘F)w2Y_Bq,2,}+UyF3==GI\,#5,_<'-/e1P wWi95]9//Qn[MŸWH\YDLOzUc+/4m)ˈ.>S 7KU'C6Ҹ}s_FB@;\f($uc^J- ˛[ ky᥍~s<!VPɖ9#֪g XO8)yyfrI&fjNBrgqK ۬{_T.܃P5,e9뫟=Tɮ4#TxFXp* ԥEDޜXT5rp:2ǥ Zt/bcfI5i igT$QLv<ʊȨiP U48s0⎢u]"%E!քV僴ӾݭENjyCSTԗҰQh0{VCS|t ~9溇=氵h-c04cekNPkKj"$,87 t5V&yn%X;V\ҳC,t*ME&z5c! {bR"y9s4R +t1j2piŲ 4'zigښM)5H5Cn.l$BnLtNז/H=ڧ\ZoE\I' kuckDF쏡1FYnN͍AUJn 'p\뱵cl$U jUNrR<Tué0ɩ aYi[/+X`Bq҆}\"Z5e zѸNMaRoZr%RG!aԬ56-^*=5Z@R"jnkRbHnwqUkeÑK , "ạF+i*Fa 44LR oS(G4)jE_|Vֲ8{o,uRۊ#SzP u$mSqU;u4}̙J~&?-gZ4'4Ln4,U *j1۩CAbrr)* 5"Z' JXTr6E r~zT1Y2O`H(EzSLFST!sJ*2y IoKѺb`7'iTL&9z'fEW4׉n 88V7)$Kyӝ*%9DՁL`Un00 V~HQgɦ;SYr08M\`Pۯ5)5&i@!3LRzIJ8xd5Z^(dWkE% eEPMqM4-ߥ$FQM>ZCL+a :U܍ɗcA+H2{Z1uۜ*K|\ýc{N_tBSMo]]}+[l8\ū0%ֽ#KO*TC;~%e Ojg$f<'cASNc8攵7--&Rx319JaAs2~VSk'W}v}@ھqfRo֝Z^ ө+7*:̭I{}kĕ&_N*դZ|S0#4#=*xTWUU2VqYw-Vu!ֿv=}OSHvu0i2*Ni dpjnEP rS8E("zRbe|j@Nx8MU'9jVS 8iPG+Z~k&+bwJZhLa/Z2.Z3+QM"j"(PiphH?%Q5~u;*cBXdӅ'zExةeMPTkD3oR rb-!< P@qQ1u5!&?54tN>sLE†42;w^)jM R~i0.84Ӛe94VC\ԬsQL.+@B#M>%&@Yy\DZ"Hei2bj$Hvy#j)H ZI `S߁WaT ӥ'5 HO+$Tl=)z5!*0j@(@=M<1}P2D'\ ͗1Nx5)ǕS!F)#qNYd-ȭ0*S4L~u+s ?7zW_u@$-n[z ¾´9fc68_.3E{o~?fKJnUr<0-a,:9{ԾN2#՛dŬL 'i v*AFGR:qj2z?8׫V% Ss_˶j "PH@ c 2(؝<|+t@¹ǿ^e7ǖ/|ctxklW#û^UǑToֶ5+XXB\LRU\ /L6`h(2g*EN"cU ΢gݟIkՌv4k*zLhs:PQijfmVRBdb)M> Ȫ$zԑ}L# Eܼ)S!!f `jR5B+N9Q|v2U@֐(?2P+ "X:cO9BE4K.ȪFjBzg1iD2l,b?R֤IzS?ޔimnWڝF]s\pƺNe{| XD=iy(aޣ8$uEn5^RZN'<e ?tmhc%r9""sJΊ9cCLLu5 NThgU.H=j*֫&khQ%T ZkffciJنxJ ֖3R Һ(8yaR-T@=i.gERPmMWc0ӘLjlUU[ßY3D>1ww6I]MYrM6!4 Nj7($ɭ xPZI+IZF$ R #Mk@=):{Lhi{a&13HEHt5*sPTёh`?Z TAB %" d`R:چO65Z˻N.611*S٧֓Y"FVR#"^MI]=aG_Wh"W̖3y rsZo#?H56~lE{$|DW|hEWaZۙX֊g(8l֍ǀ=Wp鞠՛E_v@Xl`:d4|r9ƽ5<*f^SDPpT Hڮ8P2NF;OQH/; ~4XG!`la|*OW^ڛ2xI܎G0P޼d-;;Ҽll` ZvvtGU#iq(#WV\1qO|5%jY&t2)BWTDʌVuU+F)CmX'5#RdcQbzTyJjݫ4*9\ǭC2 UgG=9O"izRE?h2(j1NJaae$H}!64idEjSjИgp5P֜3Qn+4>&( rġ{ք'4-44iiY FVj5I\IƦIƳT~jFOj;p Qb1SbEH?M5RREFަ1i2NMBS9z`e cOQ*C4w8N?S)y ذWsE~'oݚi! =oqXk:esN/UI"cHiOZ* &q=I*b2 J"jq~&-LJ% ]W R] 0?x%geWTw3dži)dBH9ITL"P*zzB*0Aɧ2ԑC$Qj_.0ꔽjԁ+Reu$+V%صN>rjZeT%qi7Z`5" !ZtBcM4ӛ1&Ƅ4ƥ&H cL@NJMD =4S9TER <r YaF"F(aHIkU2l1B`CM"CVIGͮhm2W̺lT[?^>sX?.E|9k_RG@A|B?UNjTxSe꼏]0w ļw 9rr:`lec\@lHx1g@uK ƒ*_|Ψ"V K6Gz&U`I=S9*;F}qU2>Ͻs6ߢbpk۽TƗu2Lly#g>w.j^HQ :/L4T1ENv)YODAҨ\u yFU [:T NJ^4)dHNZҬ=$ ZIzQMQ%?1~aQާÊLI>!jE֒ Am)OJ[1 $`Qڳ.+PƊ}Ec}3UK%`5ejTUC}1Ec*IgtzSƛE8)f/옿:i"E7:Ԭ;rVgr=ZQwiR(Ѵ\S4F,c'V|gͳJrn>ur|*{F3D)κ: G5Z[ ~jM7(!U%B-1Dg&KeL✊r+Yt쁃R}ERDܩEiLSN1>K x)Ӱc֐ӝ *hv̌Uktɡ?wikԚw0XJG5b׍ƥ>vTe5bsUsMjH$bj{']yq 2dԗR`횦ĆR% *U@*%4HLlS5 McC)5jF?45֜-!בUc5eq!֣'+EOQE1.O,fR9 )?*(Ҭi~hgWS,Vc$ FhmY8hJ(LNxՆE=;y<М#zEfH?UsE0N+UEUDL3d(%(H P(-HQBcEaLdoOQH&E4fx~  nVu)0 RUEn? S2\׬~ZX]5uv\~4QZr~!L.G\yheD zEa8L0B:0d*_)[*#܎QEtoU~Bgu$Pc`(bvEGī}Z]I cbzF؛rsڊ+ūTgw!`;nk@25,qEDLVOQY(SQESQ*HlFCձE0ۀQH՟gPkHҩ^[Fq(!3v@'ޢCZ=QE,
Warning: fopen(https://newsweekme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-10-31T151400Z_1142420036_LR1ECAV16B28H_RTRMADP_3_BRITAIN-POLITICS-780x439.jpg): failed to open stream: HTTP wrapper does not support writeable connections in /home/newsweekme/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-image-editor.php on line 428

Britain's Chancellor Philip Hammond arrives at Downing Street in central London, Britain. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

By William Schomberg

LONDON, Nov 13  – Five months to the day after Britain voted for Brexit, its finance minister will outline how the government plans to cope with the economic fallout and voters’ frustrations which had echoes in Donald Trump’s U.S. election triumph.

Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is due on Nov. 23 to announce spending and tax plans until the end of the decade in his first budget update since taking office after the June vote to leave the European Union.

His speech to parliament is likely to build on Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s pledge to serve families that are “just managing” — a response to discontent with the political establishment and income disparity that was exposed by the referendum.

Her promise leaves Hammond with a difficult challenge: how to ease the squeeze on living standards and reduce inequality when the public finances are deep in the red and the economy is likely to slow sharply next year, reducing tax revenues.

Hammond has hinted at more spending on infrastructure, building more homes and giving companies incentives to overcome their Brexit nerves and invest.

But after a decade of stagnant incomes the issues of living standards and inequality are at the top of the agenda — as in the United States and other European countries.

“You ignore the distribution of income at your peril,” said John Llewellyn, a former global chief economist at Lehman Brothers who now runs a consultancy, Llewellyn Consulting and is on the advisory panel of Britain’s independent budget office.

“It doesn’t affect political outcomes one year to the next. But, as we have seen, it can produce very big outcomes. It creates a sense of injustice and we know that always ultimately bites hard,” he said.

Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 was an illustration of what can happen when voters lose faith in their politicians and feel left out.

A political novice who has not held elected office, Trump rode a wave of anger towards Washington insiders, promising to create jobs, revive the economy and “make America great again”.

Hammond, who was foreign minister under the previous prime minister, David Cameron, will have taken note.

A TEST FOR THE GOVERNMENT

Hammond has no shortage of priorities after the vote to quit the EU, which has increased economic uncertainty in Britain though May has yet to launch the formal process for leaving the 28-nation bloc. She says she will do so by the end of March.

The immediate impact of the Brexit vote has not been as severe as many economists warned.

But inflation is likely to rise to around 3 percent or more next year, outpacing growth in pay, because the pound has slumped since the June 23 referendum.

The Bank of England expects economic growth in 2017 and 2018 of 1.4 and 1.5 percent respectively, half the average pace of the 10 years before the global financial crisis.

But May has made helping the “just managing” families a top priority, and Hammond’s speech will be used by opponents, voters and interest groups to gauge her commitment to her promises.

“While the choices are hard, what appears clear is that the Chancellor does have options: the extent to which he utilises them will go a long way to determining just how serious the government’s focus on the ‘just managing’ is,” the Resolution Foundation, a think tank which works on issues facing lower-earning households, said in a report this month.

The main way that Hammond’s predecessor as finance minister, George Osborne, tried to help households cope with slow earnings growth was to increase the threshold at which workers start to pay income tax, and to raise the minimum wage.

James Dowling, a former British Treasury official who worked on budgets, said Hammond might be tempted to accelerate the pace of raising the threshold for paying income tax.

“I can see how that would fit into the narrative,” Dowling, who is now head of public policy at consultancy Lansons, said.

A less expensive alternative would be to cut fuel duty or “sin taxes” on beer, wine, spirits and tobacco, something the government could do immediately without having to wait for the new financial year to start in April, he said.

The Resolution Foundation urged Hammond to take a more targeted approach by reversing planned cuts to social security benefits for people who are in work but on low wages.

POLITICAL RISKS

Osborne last year restricted access to Britain’s expensive tax credits system, which tops up the earnings of workers on low incomes, and froze working-age benefits for four years in 2015.

Along with the effects of a weaker economy and the higher inflation that is likely after the pound’s slump, the changes mean the incomes of the poorest two-fifths of households could shrink between now and 2020, the Resolution Foundation said.

To help pay for easing problems of those in low-paid jobs, Hammond could freeze the 2017 rise in the income tax allowance threshold — the benefits of which will go mostly to higher earners — and drop a plan to cut corporation tax, it said.

Looking further ahead, Britain’s new government could rethink the way it raises state pensions each year — something recommended this month by lawmakers — and take bolder action to try to address one of the biggest squeezes on families, the high cost of buying or renting a home.

Britain launched a 5 billion pound ($6.30 billion)homebuilding stimulus package last month, its latest attempt to address a chronic housing shortage.

But Vince Cable, who served as business minister in the coalition government of 2010-2015 when he was a Liberal Democrat lawmaker, said the scale of the problem required an overhaul of Britain’s taxation system which, he said, favours home-owners.

But radical change would be so unpopular with many voters, it could end the political career of any finance minister who tried it, Cable told a panel discussion on Hammond’s tax options organised by the Resolution Foundation.

“You’d need to be protected by a military government,” he said.

 

Social Streams

Comments

comments

Facebook Comments

Post a comment