The only element missing from the UK treasury’s swoony video about chancellor Rishi Sunak was Westlife’s You Raise Me Up as the soundtrack. The budget will elevate corporate tax more than the chancellor’s public image; the headline rate will leap an eye-watering six percentage points to 25% in 2023.

This was the main fiscal measure in a budget that started the clock on decades of struggle to cover the £400bn-plus cost of coping with coronavirus. Corporate tax is ultimately paid by investors, customers and employees. But it remains a telling proxy for a government’s attitude to business. In reversing George Osborne’s successive cuts, Sunak warned companies, many of them rescued by state support, to expect no more favours...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now