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All gain, no pain? The chancellor’s cunning tax plan

Philip Hammond faces acute Budget pressure on three fronts—from his boss, his economic watchdog and a House of Commons wary of supporting tax rises for a volatile electorate. But there may be something he can do

By Torsten Bell  

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

British politics is odd these days. But even by current standards something very unusual looks set to happen in next week’s Budget. A basic rule of British politics is that tax rises tend to happen soon after a general election, with the chancellor betting that we’ll all have forgotten about them when the next election comes around. Philip Hammond may well be about to shred that rule with the Treasury considering plans for tax rises that would take place just a few months before the…

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