BBC Breakfast: Jeremy Hunt challenged over tax bill concerns
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is facing pressure from within the Conservative Party to commit to tax cuts ahead of the next general election.
Mr Hunt has come under fire for the UK’s record-high tax bill but warned that it is “not the right time” for tax cuts and told BBC Breakfast that doing so in his upcoming Autumn Statement would fuel inflation and increase spending.
On Sunday, October 1, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove appeared to break rank and called for the tax burden to be reduced before the public heads to the polls.
Asked about potential cuts on GB News, Mr Hunt explained: “The way you win elections is by making promises that people believe. And we are being very honest with people, there is no shortcut to tax cuts.
“We’ve got to be more efficient with the way we spend taxpayers’ money and I’ll be talking about that today. If I gave a big tax cut this year, it would be inflationary because you’d be putting money in people’s pockets which would boost up demand, which would ultimately mean prices go up as well. So this is not the right time.”
READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt blasted on BBC with Tory tax rebellion growing
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Mr Hunt added that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s target to half inflation this year is the “primary focus” and this being achieved would be the equivalent of a 5p cut in income tax. He promised the cycle of high taxes could be broken but only with “difficult decisions”.
Mr Hunt will address the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday afternoon where he is expected to announce an increase to the living wage and stronger benefits sanctions.
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