Use your £13bn ‘headroom’ to give tax cuts to families, Hunt urged
JEREMY Hunt is under mounting pressure to unveil tax cuts for struggling families in his Autumn Statement.
Surging revenues could give the Chancellor around £13billion in ‘fiscal headroom’, which Tory MPs are urging him to put towards tax cuts.
The Mail reported yesterday that Mr Hunt is mulling a £10billion extension of a temporary tax break that rewards firms for investing in their businesses.
But Conservative backbenchers have said he must slash personal taxes and argue he could do so while cutting inflation, currently at 6.7 per cent.
Tory grandee Sir John Redwood told the Mail: ‘The Chancellor has got to target his tax cuts to have maximum effect to get inflation down, get growth going and get the deficit down.’
Sir John urged the Treasury to take 5p a gallon off fuel while oil prices are high and called for a pause in the 5 per cent VAT on domestic energy bills.
Former business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Mail personal tax cuts should be prioritised but called for a public spending squeeze to pay for it.
Sir Jacob said: ‘Tax is simply too high – in the Autumn Statement, [Mr Hunt] should be announcing where he is going to cut public expenditure.’
He suggested Mr Hunt scrap inheritance tax, cut stamp duty and look to hike tax thresholds – but said the latter would likely be too costly at present.
A study by the Resolution Foundation think-tank suggested Mr Hunt may have £13billion in fiscal headroom. He is set to deliver his statement on November 22.
A Treasury source told the Mail: ‘The Prime Minister and Chancellor want to lower the personal tax burden – inflation reduction has to be the priority.’ An HM Treasury spokesman said: ‘We must continue to bear down on inflation.’
▪ Benefits claimants will have their bank accounts checked regularly under a fraud crackdown. The plans, to be unveiled in the Autumn Statement, could save an estimated £500million in five years.