©UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

Jeremy Hunt won’t ‘sacrifice the principles of sound money’ for tax cuts in Autumn statement

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will not “sacrifice the principles of sound money” amid calls for tax cuts, when he delivers the Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

Treasury minister Gareth Davies said this morning that while “ideally” the government would bring the tax burden down overall, it will not do so “at the expense of sound money”.

The exchequer secretary to the Treasury told Times Radio the government had “always been clear we want to get the overall tax burden down”.

But, he added: “We are not going to sacrifice the principles of sound money. Like I have said, we have managed to do great things on inflation. We need to keep going with that.”

He said: “We have always been clear we want to get the overall tax burden down but that is not going to be at the expense of sound money.

“For what it’s worth, we actually have a lower tax burden than Germany and France for example. … It is something that is not the highest in the world by any means”.

The comments come after Hunt yesterday insisted that the tax burden had to be lowered to get the British economy “fizzing”. 

However, the chancellor also played down the scale of potential tax cuts to come on Wednesday. 

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”, he said.

Hunt said on Sunday that he wanted to cut taxes to “motivate people to work” but would not “jeopardise” the fight against inflation.

Pressed on Times Radio as to whether income tax could be eased, he stressed the need to act “in a responsible way”.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak will deliver a speech in north London today, as he sets out plans to bolster economic growth.

The speech was reportedly originally set for last week, but was delayed following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Rwanda deportations plan. 

The prime minister will use the speech to argue that the economy is on the right track after last week’s news on inflation.

On Wednesday last week it was announced that the UK’s consumer prices index (CPI) dropped to 4.6 per cent in October, down from 6.7 per cent in September. 

CPI was 10.7 per cent when Sunak vowed to half inflation in January — meaning the prime minister had to reduce the rate of price rises to 5.3 per cent to achieve the first of his five pledges.

Rishi Sunak declares victory on inflation as rate falls to lowest in two years

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