Last-minute cuts to income tax or national insurance are said to be on the cards for Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, in a bid to boost economic growth and the Conservative Party’s fortunes ahead of a next general election.
The chancellor and Rishi Sunak have made the decision to consider tax cuts for low earners, after official forecasters told the Treasury it has more money in the budget than was expected, it has been reported by The Sunday Times.
They are also considering delaying a widely expected reduction in inheritance tax until spring 2024, the paper has reported.
The tax is currently charged at 40 per cent on estates worth more than £325,000, however the Treasury is reportedly considering cutting the rate to 30 per cent. This has prompted accusations that it would serve as a boost for wealthier families during a cost-of-living crisis.
While Mr Hunt had been expected to wait until the spring budget to introduce income tax cuts, improved public finances have caused him to reconsider.
The chancellor received the final forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility on Friday night and was due to finalise decisions alongside the prime minister over the weekend.
It comes afterMr Hunt and work and pensions secretary Mel Stride unveiled a major benefits crackdown, which will see claimants lose handouts, such as free prescriptions and dental care if they refuse to take a job.
The chancellor said the move, launched just days before the statement, was necessary to stop “anyone choosing to coast on the hard work of taxpayers”.