£30bn boost to ease energy and fuel bills
A £30billion Budget windfall could be employed by the Chancellor to support families facing rising energy and fuel bills, according to a think-tank.
In next week’s Budget, Jeremy Hunt is expected to use this wriggle room to extend a cap on typical household bills and scrap a planned fuel duty rise.
The Resolution Foundation said despite the unexpected windfall for the public finances, with borrowing this year around £30billion lower than official forecasts, Mr Hunt still faces ‘tough choices’.
The think-tank said Mr Hunt is likely to spend around £3billion keeping energy bills locked at £ ,500 into the summer. He will also prevent the 1 p increase in fuel duty, costing around £5billion.
FREEZING fuel duty. Extending a cap on household energy bills. Inflationary pay claims by militant public sector unions.
The competing demands ahead of his first Budget on March 15 will surely cause Jeremy Hunt a few headaches.
But thanks to public borrowing coming in at £30billion less than predicted, the Chancellor might need fewer paracetamol.
He’s right to use the windfall to raise defence spending. With so many threats to our security, it is imperative the Armed Forces are properly funded.
But if one of the Chancellor’s priorities is growth, he should also consider putting more money in people’s pockets by cutting personal and business taxes.
As we report today, dozens of US firms are snubbing Britain because of Mr Hunt’s tax raids and red tape. He must use his bonanza to scrap plans to raise corporation tax from 19 to 25 per cent, which deters investment and threatens creation.
It is baffling that a Conservative government should pursue such a ruinous policy. By damaging growth, it is damaging its chances of electoral survival.