Jeremy Hunt to make last-minute decision on whether to cut income tax as former Home Secretary Suella Braverman urges party to demonstrate to the public that 'we're on their side'
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
Jeremy Hunt will make a last-minute decision this week about whether to cut income tax.
Senior Treasury insiders said it is a call being made by the Chancellor and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with everyone else ‘locked out of the process’ before the Autumn Statement is presented in Parliament on Wednesday.
The Chancellor, buoyed by a drop in Britain’s inflation to 4.6 per cent, gave a hint of tax cuts to The Daily Telegraph yesterday when he said that the economy has ‘turned the corner’ – until recent days he had been more concerned about the likely impact a cut in income tax would have on inflation.
However, despite widespread reports that inheritance tax will be slashed in the statement, this measure will not be introduced before the Budget or Election manifesto.
One well-connected MP claimed that the stories about the tax had been allowed to run unchallenged to distract attention from plans for the real tax cuts – which had only been discussed using codenames.
Another source said: ‘Any tax measure we introduce this week must boost supply in the economy – an inheritance tax cut would not do that.’
Mr Hunt remains cautious about slashing personal tariffs before the March Budget due to the cost of paying for higher interest charges on the national debt, in addition to the bill for funding the triple lock for state pensioners – but he is conscious of the pressure growing from Tory MPs for an ‘offer to voters’ in a bid to catch up to Labour in the polls.
Whitehall sources are claiming the Tory Party’s political position will ‘look a lot better by the end of the week’.