The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1996Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Memoirs Relating to the 1996 Budget Statement – 26 November 1996

Below is the text of Mr Major’s memoirs (John Major – The Autobiography, ISBN 0006530745, page 689) where he refers to the 1996 Budget, which was held on the 26th November 1996.


The economy remained our last, best hope, and the Chancellor was determined to take no risks with it. Interest rates fell gently in the first half of 1996, but edged back up a little in October to 6 per cent. The November budget tightened the fiscal stance by £1.75 billion, to minimise the risk of further interest-rate rises. It forecast further healthy growth, and cut the basic rate of income tax by a further penny to 23p, funded largely by indirect tax hikes. The budget disappointed those on our backbenches who were hoping for a pre-election bonanza, but it reinforced the healthy state of the economy. ‘Good economics is good politics’ remained the Chancellor’s mantra.