What will be in the Spring Budget?
According to a report in The Guardian, Hunt is not expected to announce any tax cuts in his Budget statement on 15 March as the Conservatives attempt to “win back economic credibility” following Liz Truss’s short-term rein as Prime Minister and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous Budget last year.
Treasury insiders told The Guardian that Hunt’s focus was “wholly on getting the economy back on a steady footing”.
They said that boosting growth, bringing down inflation and reducing national debt were the government’s top priorities as it seeks to restore confidence among businesses and the public – and only then could taxes be reduced.
“We don’t have enough headroom to announce tax cuts at this point,” one source told The Guardian, “It wouldn’t be responsible. Our focus is wholly on steadying the economy and, with that, repairing our economic reputation.”
The Treasury refused to comment on the Budget speculation.
Hunt vowed to tackle the “nightmare” of high inflation after the latest CPI figure of 10.5% was released earlier today.
He said: “High inflation is a nightmare for family budgets, destroys business investment and leads to strike action, so however tough, we need to stick to our plan to bring it down.”
According to the newspaper, some Conservative sources are predicting there will be tax cuts before the next election – with the Autumn Statement the most likely moment for announcing changes to come in the following Spring.
Some Conservatives are calling for more public spending in “red wall” areas, while Hunt is coming under pressure from business leaders to loosen the purse strings to help reboot economic growth.