Daily Mirror

Hunt’s handout is just fool’s gold


■ The Autumn Statement was all smoke and mirrors. If I take £20 from you and eventually give £15 back, you’re still £5 worse off.

This Government imposed the biggest tax hike in decades and now we’re supposed to be grateful because they’re returning a bit of our own money with one hand while grabbing it back with the other.

The Tories’ abysmal mismanagem­ent of the economy still leaves us in a cost of living crisis with inflation remaining high well into 2025 and this winter’s crippling energy bills still to be paid.

Listening to Hunt you’d be fooled into thinking everything is just hunky dory. But people are hurting and struggling from the morbid reality of it all.

Let’s pray that come the general election, like the song says, “We won’t get fooled again”.

John Sedgwick, Tamworth, Staffs

■ Boris Johnson put up National Insurance contributi­ons by 1.25% in April 2022 to fix the crisis in social care once and for all. In November 2022 this was reversed but there was no mention of how the Conservati­ves were going to sort the care system.

Now, in November 2023, Jeremy Hunt announced he will reduce National Insurance contributi­ons by 2% and there’s still no mention of how they will sort the care system. Can we trust the Conservati­ves to do anything they say? How long are we going to let them take us for fools? Barry Foster, Wigan

■ The Autumn Statement announceme­nt is apparently full of wonderful pre-Christmas gifts from Sunak and Hunt.

Do they think we’re stupid? Most low-paid people won’t feel much of it and any giveaways are likely to be offset by cuts elsewhere. But the kicker is reforms to the benefits system that forces the physically or mentally vulnerable into work that they are ill-equipped for. Ashley Smith, March, Cambs

■ The minimum wage is to increase by £1.02 an hour. This increase is likely to be met by employers who will naturally enforce redundanci­es and increase costs to pass on to the consumer, thus fuelling inflation and forcing the Bank of England to either refuse to reduce interest rates or even increase them again.

Tax thresholds are frozen so while Hunt and Sunak laud themselves for increasing tax revenues and reducing the benefit bill, the workers and employers are still suffering. Chris Torode, Richmond, N Yorks

■ How desperate can Rishi Sunak and the doomed Conservati­ve Party get? One year they raise National Insurance then, when they clearly can’t afford to, they cut it. Taxes are already the highest in decades, so to try and bribe the electorate when they have already busted the economy is just absurd.

At a time when our economy needs proper handling and investment they target the poor and disabled on benefits. Even Larry the Cat must be angry at this one. Geoffrey Brooking, Havant, Hants

■ So, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has just cut taxes in his Autumn Statement. There must be an election coming. G Moore, Alness, Scottish Highlands

■ I believe it would have boosted the economy far more to have reduced VAT by one per cent instead of a reduction in National Insurance that cuts funds for the NHS and other public services.

A reduction in VAT would have benefited all citizens and boosted spending. Companies would then get increased revenue meaning more staff recruitmen­t, and these people would be paying tax and NI. J Randall, Leeds

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