©UK Parliament/ Jessica Taylor

Hunt: ‘Silly’ to think of tax cuts in terms of election timing as he hints at more to come

Jeremy Hunt has this morning said it is “silly” to think about the autumn statement tax cuts as a pre-election giveaway.

The chancellor, who delivered his autumn statement to the House of Commons yesterday, told Sky News: “We haven’t chosen the most populist tax cuts. I think it’s silly to think about this in terms of the timing of the next election.

“We’re trying to make the right decisions for the long-term growth of the British economy.”

The tax cuts in Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement yesterday were larger than anticipated. 

Ahead of the statement, it had been speculated that the chancellor would cut the national insurance rate by 1 per cent. But Hunt announced yesterday that he would cut the national insurance rate from 12 per cent to 10 per cent in a move that will benefit “27 million people and means someone on the average salary of £35,000 will save over £450 a year”.

Unusually, he said the cut will take effect from January, not April, when tax cuts or tax rises are typically implemented. 

It would seem to be the perfect schedule for a government intent on holding a spring election in May. 

However, Hunt insisted this morning he has not discussed the timing of the next general election with Rishi Sunak. “I can confirm regarding the date of the election that I’ve had absolutely no discussions with the Prime Minister”, the chancellor told LBC Radio.

He said the national insurance cut will be brought forward because “I want to bring help for families as soon as possible” as energy bills continue to rise.

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Elsewhere this morning, Hunt also suggested that the tax cuts announced at the Autumn Statement were just a “start”.

He told Times Radio: “I can make a start, and that is what I did yesterday, in reducing the tax burden but I have chosen to do it in a way that is going to grow the economy.

“I am at the Airbus factory in North Wales which makes the wings for all the Airbus aeroplanes around the whole world and they say it is going to make their job easier because of this tax cut on capital allowance.

“It is not something that families have particularly heard of up and down the country but it will make us grow more.

“Better paid jobs, higher living standards in the future and that is the long term way that we fund our public services like the NHS and I hope are able to reduce the tax burden still further in the future.”

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