‘We're all going to be paying a bit more tax’, warns Jeremy Hunt ahead of Autumn Statement
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has warned everyone will have to pay more tax under plans set to be announced in his Autumn Statement on Thursday (November 17).
Mr Hunt has declared he will be playing Scrooge as he sets out his vision to restore financial “stability” across the UK, with a focus on delivering “certainty” to families and businesses in the wake of the market turmoil sparked by his predecessor’s £45 billion tax-cutting bonanza.
He has said “people with the broadest shoulders will bear the heaviest burden” as he seeks to fill a so-called black hole in the public finances and is understood to be weighing up a cut to the threshold at which the highest earners start paying the top rate of tax.
And Mr Hunt acknowledged on Sunday that everybody can expect to see a greater financial burden going forward.
Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, he said: “We are going to see everyone paying more tax, we’re going to see spending cuts. But I think it’s very important to say that we are a resilient country.
“I think that as Simon Schama would say we faced bigger challenges in our history in the past, and we’re also a compassionate country.
“So we will introduce a plan that will see us through the very choppy waters that we’re in economically.
“But we’ll make sure that we protect the most vulnerable. And in particular deal with the single biggest worry for people on low incomes, which is the rising cost of their weekly shop and rising energy prices.”
Mr Hunt confirmed he would be giving details on Thursday about further support for people struggling with energy bills – but he warned there will be “some constraints” to this.
“Will it be uncapped, unlimited? We have to recognise that one of the reasons for the instability that followed the mini-budget was that people were worried that we were exposing British public finances to the volatility of the international gas market,” he said.
“So, there has to be some constraints to it.
“But, yes, we will continue to support families and I will explain exactly how we’re going to do that.”
Meanwhile, Labour has called on Mr Hunt to make “fair choices” in his autumn budget and not to put the whole burden on “ordinary working people”.
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves warned public services are “on their knees”, insisting that “austerity 2.0” is not the right way forward.