Jeremy Hunt: Less scope for tax cuts in Budget

Jeremy Hunt has said there is likely to be less scope for tax cuts in the March Budget than there was last autumn.

The chancellor told the BBC he wanted to “lighten the tax burden” to help grow the economy.

But he said this had to be done in a “responsible” way.

In last year’s Autumn Statement, when the government sets out its tax and spending plans, Mr Hunt announced a cut to the main rate of National Insurance from 12% to 10%.

In January, Mr Hunt repeatedly hinted that he was aiming to cut taxes in the spring Budget.

Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said that countries with lower taxes have more “dynamic, faster growing economies”.

However, the Times newspaper reported that he had told a cabinet meeting this week that “major structural weaknesses” in the economy, including low productivity, meant there was likely to be less headroom for tax cuts in the upcoming Budget on 6 March.

Asked about the reports, Mr Hunt told the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast he was awaiting the “final numbers” from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The OBR produces economic forecasts for the government ahead of budgets, which include an indication of how much room for manoeuvre there might be for tax cuts or spending increases.

 

BBC Radio 4 – Political Thinking with Nick Robinson, The Jeremy Hunt Chancellor One

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