Jeremy Hunt won't commit to tax cuts before next election
Tory MPs are despondent in the face of Jeremy Hunt’s forthcoming Autumn Statement, which the Chancellor announced yesterday will take place on November 22.
Despite a deficit windfall reported in the last few weeks, and revised GDP figures showing the UK has now recovered beyond its pre-pandemic size, Tory MPs still do not expect Jeremy Hunt to cut taxes this year.
The Chancellor is reportedly worried about future interest rate rises wiping out any headroom.
Speaking to the Express following the date announcement, on MP said they expected only “moderate excitement” in November, with sources suggesting the PM is holding back anything more drastic for the full Spring Budget next year.
Another senior low-tax Tory MP said they would be pushing for income tax cuts, but mainly as a way of winning concessions on their other desire for improved family tax rates.
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They added that expectations are “pretty low”.
Other issues Tory MPs are expected to push for are energy grid connectivity and infrastructure reforms to reduce the cost of building in the UK.
However there is now also a widespread anger, as fears grow tax cuts in Spring will be too late to affect the General Election.
One Tory MP told the Express that there is now a tension within the party, as they have never had less confidence in a Conservative Government to actually deliver, but the party must not split again for fear of falling below 150 seats at the election.
The MP said they are willing to “prop this s**tshow up” but noted it is “off the scale bad”.
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Pointing to a recent article describing Mr Sunak’s style as “limp managerialism”, an MP commented: “It’s not even good managerialism”.
The hopes of tax cuts were further dashed today as reports emerged the Treasury is looking at hiking capital gains tax on property – something even Labour’s Rachel Reeves has ruled out.
According to the Guido Fawkes blog, a document circulating the Treasury speaks about “closing the inequality wealth gap”.
This afternoon the low-tax think tank The Taxpayers’ Alliance said a capital gains tax hike would hit investment and growth, “right when the economy is crying out for a boost”.
“The levy on property is already far higher than on other assets, adding layers of complexity.
“The Treasury would be better off abolishing the higher property bands altogether and taxing all capital gains at the same rate.”
The Express understands officials have failed to find any such document containing the tax hike proposals, nor one talking about closing wealth inequality, though a source notes the Treasury does not comment on leaks and tax outside of fiscal events.
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