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Hunt drops hint about tax cuts in budget

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has hinted that cuts to public services may be used to pay for an election-year reduction in taxes.

On the Politics at Jack and Sam’s podcast, it was revealed Mr Hunt was considering a last minute further cut to public spending to boost the tax giveaway in the spring budget.

Mr Hunt is set to deliver the 2024 Budget at Wednesday lunchtime. The government is using the fiscal event to try and win back voters ahead of the general election expected to take place later this year.

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Speaking to broadcasters on Monday, Mr Hunt repeated his stance that low-tax economies are “growing the fastest” and are “more dynamic, more energetic, more entrepreneurial”.

He said: “So we do want to move to a lower taxed economy, but we’re only going to do so in a way that is responsible and recognises that there are things that taxes pay for, that we couldn’t cut taxes by borrowing.

“We’ll do so in a responsible way. But if we can spend money on public services more efficiently, then that will mean less pressure on taxpayers.”

Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told Sky News on Sunday that any tax cuts proposed this week would have to be “undone” after the election.

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Unfunded tax cuts ‘deeply unconservative’ – Hunt

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Jeremy Hunt is set to deliver the budget this week. Pic: PA
Image: Jeremy Hunt is set to deliver the budget this week. Pic: PA

One measure that has been mooted as a cash-raiser for Treasury coffers is ending or reducing “non-dom” tax breaks.

Mr Hunt has refused to be drawn on whether he will adopt the measure.

But one Tory MP – Simon Clarke – has warned colleagues they should be “very, very careful what we wish for” when it comes to the proposed change, reposting on social media a thread about the claimed benefits to the UK economy of the status.

Non-doms only have to pay tax on money earned in the UK, while their overseas income and wealth are not subject to UK tax – and they can benefit from the status for up to 15 years.

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Labour’s shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said it would be an “abject humiliation” for the Tories if they implemented Labour’s nom-dom policy given cabinet ministers had “spent years rubbishing this idea”.

Sky News Source