Morning Brief – UK: We Will Cut Taxes

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Wed 22 Nov 2023

UK: We Will Cut Taxes

This morning will demonstrate that it is worth listening carefully when politicians make promises. In this case it is the word “will”, because with the economic tank almost completely dry, while he is a recent convert to the idea of cutting taxes, Chancellor Hunt has limited scope to do anything much now other than make promises for the future which will of course be contingent on the Conservatives still being in power. So this is the first serious shot in the General Election campaign gunfire and as much as anything else is designed to be a spoiling tactic for anything that Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves may offer by way of inducements. With a business conference of 1300 attendees last week being asked how many thought the Conservatives would be returned to power next year being met by a deafening silence and almost no show of hands, while not over, it is looking less than likely that promises made this morning will do the trick. Meanwhile expect some eye catching promises on a 1p cut off Income Tax, National Insurance down from 12% to 11% and some business friendly statements.

GBP/USD 1.2530. 


With the Emperor himself firmly back in the news with the release of Sir Ridley Scott’s film out this week, the obvious question of what you buy a Napoleon aficionado who has almost everything Napoleon for Christmas, has been answered by French auction house Osenat: a bicorne black beaver felt hat of impeccable provenance worn by Napoleon up for sale in Fontainebleu. Estimated to fetch EUR 600,000 to 800,000, bidding was brisk. In fact so brisk that the chapeau Napoleon went for an amazing EUR 1.9 million to an unnamed buyer. Only 20 of his hats remain out of an armoire of 120 that he sported both on and off the battlefield, but still that does seem a toppy price.

EUR/USD 1.0920.

Carbon Emissions

Oxfam has produced a report that claims that in 2019 the world’s richest 1% produced 16% of all carbon emissions globally. That is almost exactly what the poorest 66% globally which numbers 5 billion people produce. Think all those private planes, yachts, luxury motors and energy inefficient palatial homes.

USD/JPY 147.88.

Hong Kong

Another one if you want to appear knowledgeable in a pub quiz about numbers of Japanese restaurants around the world: Hong Kong has one of the highest numbers of Japanese restaurants of any city in the world at 1,400-until now at least. Due to Hong Kong banning the importation of seafood from many Japanese prefectures due to Japan’s decision to dump radioactive waste in the sea, Japanese restaurants and particularly at the top end of the market in Hong Kong are shutting their doors at a furious rate. Ironically Hong Kong fans of Japanese food can fly to Japan and enjoy it there for a fraction of the prices they are now forced to pay in Hong Kong.

USD/HKD 7.79.

You Light Up My Life

Well this song certainly did financially at least for American singer and actress Debby Boone when it went to Number One this day in 1979 where it stayed for 10 weeks.

So many nights I’d sit by my window
Waiting for someone to sing me his song
So many dreams I kept deep inside me
Alone in the dark but now you’ve come along

And you light up my life
You give me hope to carry on
You light up my days and fill my nights with song

Rollin’ at sea, adrift on the water
Could it be finally I’m turnin’ for home?
Finally a chance to say, “Hey, I love you”
Never again to be all alone

‘Cause you light up my life
You give me hope to carry on
You light up my days and fill my nights with song

‘Cause you, you light up my life
You give me hope to carry on
You light up my days and fill my nights with song

It can’t be wrong
When it feels so right
‘Cause you
You light up my life

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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