Rishi Sunak drops bombshell on hard-hit Britons with spring budget tax admission

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Ahead of the Spring Statement to the House of Commons next week, the Chancellor hinted last year’s tax hike on companies and workers to pay for £65bn of financial Covid support will stay untouched. As the UK is “grappling with global inflationary forces”, Mr Sunak said, he has to do what is “economically responsible”. Addressing the Tory party conference on Friday, March 18, he signalled at dissatisfaction among traditional conservative voters.

Speaking at the event in Blackpool, Lancashire, he admitted that “the Conservatives need to get back to being a tax-cutting government” – but said that the timing is not quite right.

While expressing “enormous sympathy for what people are going through” as a result of soaring prices, he claimed: “I can’t solve every problem. No government can solve every problem, particularly when you’re grappling with global inflationary forces.”

The Chancellor insisted, however, his intention is to “get the tax burden down”.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak’s ‘tax raid’ may mean you pay £255 per year more in weeks’ time

The Government has announced tax rises worth 2 percent of GDP in just two years – the same as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did in 10, a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed.

The IFS cites a weakening of the public finances, sparked first by the financial crisis and then by lockdowns, as the key reason behind the tax rises since 2010.

Meanwhile the energy crisis, which will see millions of households typically pay an extra £693 a year on their energy bills from April after Ofgem sets the new cap, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will probably add further pressure, the IFC said.

Speaking of the package of measures to soften the impact of the surging costs, including a £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A to D and a £200 discount on bills in October, the Chancellor claimed he is “always going to do” what he can to support struggling households.

He said: “My plan over the course of this Parliament is to keep cutting taxes.”

The Government has announced tax rises worth 2 percent of GDP in just two years – the same as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did in 10, a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed.

The IFS cites a weakening of the public finances, sparked first by the financial crisis and then by lockdowns, as the key reason behind the tax rises since 2010.

He said: “As we saw a month or so ago when we announced a significant intervention to help people meet some of the additional costs of energy bills, here we can make a difference.”

Yet, although he suggested next week’s statement would contain measures to help people with the cost of living crisis, with growing pressure for the £9bn package of support for energy bills to be extended, the Chancellor gave no details of what further aid might look like.

Mr Sunak did, however, promise putting up people’s taxes was “the last thing I wanted to do” – claiming the drivers for the hikes have been “somewhat out of my control”.

He added: “I also take really seriously my responsibility to you, our kids and to the nation’s finances and making sure that we fix the problems that coronavirus caused, where our borrowing went up to the levels that we haven’t seen since World War Two, and our debt was forecast to just keep growing and growing and growing into the future.”

The IFS, in a stark assessment for what awaits the British public, wrote in its analysis: “Looking further ahead, whether this government cuts taxes in the short run, or finds a way to cut some taxes before the next election, the longer-term direction of travel is clear.

“This government will not be the last to raise taxes in face of the inexorable spending pressures of an ageing population.



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