The government can only afford “a tiny tax cut here or a tiny cut there,” a respected economic think tank has said ahead of Wednesday’s statement.
Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, said any tax cuts would have to be followed by “incredibly tight spending plans”.
His comments came after prime minister Rishi Sunak delivered a speech earlier on Monday in which he suggested taxes would be cut on Wednesday.
Mr Sunak also claimed handing over the UK economy to Labour would be “just as dangerous” as Liz Truss’s stewardship of the economy.
He claimed Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves wanted to continue the “big government, big spending approach” of the Covid pandemic, pointing to the opposition’s £28bn green business plan.
“This makes the same economic mistake as last year’s mini-budget – blowing tens of billions of pounds on unfunded spending is just as dangerous as blowing tens of billions of pounds on unfunded tax cuts.”
More than £300m will ‘unlock’ mansion house reform benefits, Jeremy Hunt says
The Government will spend more than £300 million to “unlock” £50 billion in capital from British pension funds, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said.
Dubbed the Mansion House Reforms and announced by the Chancellor earlier this year, leading pensions firms agreed to put 5% of their investments into early-stage businesses in the fintech, life sciences, biotech and clean technology sectors by 2030.
The move was pitched as a way to help increase the retirement savings of a typical earner who starts saving at 18, by 12% over their career, or more than £1,000 more a year once they stop working.
Alexander Butler21 November 2023 06:00
Watch as Sunak discusses Autumn Statement during London school visit
Watch as Rishi Sunak gives a speech in London on Monday 20 November.
The prime minister painted a more positive picture of the economy ahead of the autumn statement on Wednesday, which Jeremy Hunt has signalled could be used to cut taxes for businesses.
Mr Sunak hailed having last week hit his pledge of halving inflation as he gave an update on the state of the nation’s finances.
Oliver Browning21 November 2023 04:00
What will Jeremy Hunt unveil in the Autumn Statement?
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt faces a troubling economic backdrop when he delivers his Autumn Statement to the country on Wednesday.
Economic forecasts show that growth is stagnant and Britain is teetering on the edge of a recession – while high prices and the cost of living crisis continues to impact millions of hard-pressed families.
However, last week Mr Hunt had a sliver of good news as inflation has halved over the past year, leading him to say the economy had “turned a corner” and fuelling expectations he will unveil tax cuts on Wednesday.
Joe Middleton21 November 2023 02:00
Gove says he has ‘made the case’ for more council funding
Michael Gove has been pushing the Treasury for “appropriate funding” for local councils, the veteran Cabinet minister has said.
Speaking at a local government conference on Monday, the Communities Secretary said he had been “doing my best to reinforce to the Treasury and to Number 10 some of the particular challenges that local government faces”.
In the run-up to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday, local councils have been pushing for more funding to cope with a variety of pressures including social care, children’s services and temporary accommodation.
Alexander Butler21 November 2023 00:01
Cameron vows to put development ‘back at heart’ of Foreign Office
Lord Cameron said the UK will continue to lead efforts to tackle food insecurity around the world as he closed the Global Food Security Summit in London.
In his first major speaking engagement since becoming Foreign Secretary, the former prime minister said he would “put development right back at the heart” of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
“Food is the foundation of all aspects of development. Malnourished children can never fully develop their bodies and their minds,” he said.
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 22:00
Cameron says meeting of Tory MPs ‘like going back to school’
David Cameron received a warm reception at a meeting of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs in parliament.
As well as receiving the traditional banging of desks as he entered, Lord Cameron was greeted and welcomed back by Tory colleagues.
A large number of MPs turned out to hear Lord Cameron speak – including former prime minister Theresa May and several current ministers. “It’s a bit like going back to school,” he said outside the room.
Adam Forrest20 November 2023 21:00
Too early to say inflation beaten, Bank of England warns
It is “much too early” to say that inflation has been beaten, despite figures last week which showed the Prime Minister’s target to halve inflation had been reached, the governor of the Bank of England has warned.
Andrew Bailey, who sits on the body which decides interest rates, said that inflation is still “too high”. It comes after last week’s inflation figures showed a group of goods and services increased in price by around 4.6 per cent in the 12 months to the end of October.
“While the inflation data for October released last week were welcome news, it is much too early to declare victory. Inflation remains too high and we need to make sure we get it all the way down to the 2 per cent target,” he said.
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 20:02
Hunt promise business investment boost – and porridge for breakfast
Jeremy Hunt said his autumn statement on Wednesday would include a package of measures to boost business investment, Adam Forrest reports.
The chancellor told the CBI conference that the UK’s productivity was 15 per cent lower than Germany’s, partly due to skills training, but also because of a lack of capital investment.
He promised “a whole range of measures designed to unlock business investment and close that gap”.
The chancellor gave nothing away of tax cuts, saying only that the government was now “focused on growth” after halving inflation.
Mr Hunt also he will have porridge with banana and honey, followed by egg on toast, the day of the autumn statement (as he does on all big days).
Alexander Butler20 November 2023 18:17
What will Jeremy Hunt unveil in the Autumn Statement?
Matt Mathers20 November 2023 16:07
Tory moderate warns Sunak against radical Rwanda plan B
Stephen Hammond, deputy chair of the One Nation group of Tory moderates, has warned Rishi Sunak against trying to get around human rights law with his Rwanda deportation plan B, Adam Forrest reports.
The PM is said to be mulling a “semi-skimmed” option, which would try to disapply the UK Human Rights Act (HRA) in asylum claims, and a “full-fat” option of using “notwithstanding clauses” to ignore the HRA and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in a way that is legal.
“Leaving the ECHR would be a red line for the One Nation [MPs] – the idea we would find ourselves in a group with Russia is beyond incredible,” Mr Hammond told The Independent.
“I’m very wary of trying to disapply treaties we’ve signed up to,” he said. “On [trying to disapply] the ECHR and the HRA, I’d be very cautious. It’s a view among large numbers of colleagues in the One Nation group.”
He added: “One of the things that has been most successful is the treaties like the one with Albania, we need to have more of those, so people arriving on boats can be sent back.”
Matt Mathers20 November 2023 15:39