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FTSE stocks leap after Hunt unveils Great British Isa

by Marko Florentino
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Thanks for joining me for your live Budget updates. Jeremy Hunt’s plan to cut 2p off National Insurance will eventually lead to a number of tax increases after the next election, economists have warned.

Adam Corlett, the principal economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, said the tax cut – announced in November and worth £900 to the average worker when combined with NI reductions – will “only add to the number of tax increases coming in after the election”.

5 things to start your day 

1) Hunt’s inheritance tax ‘stealth’ raid has cost families £1.5bn | Pressure mounts on Chancellor to unfreeze ‘nil-rate band’ allowance as Budget looms

2) Jeremy Hunt to cut 2p off National Insurance rather than ‘inflationary’ income tax | Government will bring forward legislation next week to enable the reduction, worth £450 for average worker, to come into effect in April

3) 2p National Insurance cut: how much you would save | Work out how much Jeremy Hunt’s reduction will benefit you

4) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Britain is living beyond its means | But slashing public investment is the worst thing to do | The UK must not succumb to policy defeatism

5) Jeremy Warner: The cause of Britain’s housing woes has been staring the Tories in the face | Having failed to control immigration, the Conservatives have also failed to provide for it

What happened overnight

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget at an exuberant time for markets. Gold prices and bitcoin hit all-time highs on Tuesday before paring some gains, while a sell-off in some tech stocks led to a slump in many stock markets around the world.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both finished 1pc lower, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index ended the day down 1.7pc, pulled down by firms including Apple and Tesla.

Stocks in Asia were mixed overnight with Tokyo’s key Nikkei index ended marginally lower by 6.85 points to end at 40,090.78, while the broader Topix index added 0.4pc, or 10.74 points, to 2,730.67.

We will keep you updated here all day on the latest on the Budget and what it means for your finances and the economy.

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