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Jeremy Hunt Promises Further Tax Cuts and Criticises Labour’s Plans

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has pledged further tax cuts for the autumn, asserting that the UK economy has “turned a corner.”

In a bid to draw clear distinctions ahead of the next election, Hunt accused Labour of planning to raise taxes while positioning the Conservatives as committed tax-cutters.

In a speech on Friday, Hunt acknowledged the significant financial challenges faced by families due to the global pandemic and the energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. He argued that the Conservative government had protected people’s finances during these turbulent times. Hunt highlighted that inflation had dropped to 3% and claimed the country was emerging from a shallow recession.

Hunt suggested that a cut to national insurance could be expected in the autumn and promised that the Conservatives would focus on reducing the overall tax burden in the next parliament. He emphasised, “The economy is doing well, and further tax cuts are on the way as we continue to recover.”

Criticism of Labour’s Financial Plans

The Conservative Party released a dossier alleging that Labour had a £38bn gap in its financial costings, which they argued would necessitate tax increases. Hunt criticized Labour leader Keir Starmer for making vague promises, describing them as “motherhood and apple pie” without concrete plans.

In response, a Labour spokesperson accused the Conservatives of attempting to deflect attention from their own £46bn unfunded tax plan. They argued that this plan could lead to higher borrowing, increased taxes on pensioners, or potentially threaten the state pension system. The spokesperson stated, “All of Labour’s policies are fully costed and fully funded. Unlike the Conservatives who crashed the economy, Labour will never play fast and loose with the public finances.”

Election Battle Lines

Hunt’s remarks are part of a broader effort by the Conservatives to set the agenda for the upcoming election. He accused Labour of spreading “fake news” regarding the state pension, aiming to reassure older voters about their financial security under a Conservative government.

This speech follows significant press conferences by other key political figures, including the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Labour leader Keir Starmer, indicating that both parties are gearing up for the election campaign.

As the political landscape heats up, Hunt’s promise of further tax cuts and his criticisms of Labour’s financial plans are designed to bolster the Conservative’s position as the party of economic prudence and tax reduction. The upcoming autumn budget and the details of these promised tax cuts will likely play a crucial role in shaping voter sentiment as the election approaches.

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