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Jeremy Hunt hints at further tax cuts in upcoming budget as he compares himself to Nigel Lawson

Jeremy Hunt has compared himself to tax-cutting former chancellor Nigel Lawson as he suggested using his spring budget to "relieve pressure on families".

Ahead of the budget on 6 March, the chancellor said the government's plan of "prioritising tax cuts" is working, and they will "stick to it".

Mr Hunt went on to liken his record to that of the late Mr Lawson, who slashed personal taxation while serving in the Thatcher government.

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"Just as Nigel Lawson positioned the City of London for the finance boom in the 1980s, this period of Conservative government has seen the UK positioned for the massive technological boom we're set to see in the coming years," he said, writing in the Mail On Sunday.

"The most dynamic economies tend to be places with lower taxes. The lesson is clear: supporting businesses with competitive taxes - not more government spending - is the way to growth," he added in another part of the article.

"We Conservatives have always known that, of course - but it is worth remembering. The plan is working. That's why we need to stick to it. It means cutting taxes, not raising them."

It comes after The Financial Times reported that Mr Hunt could be handed up to £10bn in extra headroom against his fiscal targets in the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts, paving the way for deeper tax cuts.

And, in November's autumn statement, the main rate of national insurance was reduced by two percentage points, from 12% to 10%, on 6 January, a change which the Treasury says will make workers £450 better off a year.

In his own piece in The Sun on Sunday, Rishi Sunak said that "because of the disciplined way we have run the economy" the government was able to introduce this month's reduction in national insurance contributions.

"Where we can, we will always prioritise tax cuts to put more of people's money back in their pockets," the Tory leader wrote.

Read more:
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Rishi Sunak says 'more to come' on tax cuts

'Words will read hollow to millions'

The announcement from Mr Hunt comes as the battle lines are drawn against Labour ahead of a general election.

Reacting to the article, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones said: "Jeremy Hunt's words will read hollow to the millions of people who have been left worse off after 14 years of economic failure.

"Prices are still rising in the shops, monthly mortgage bills are soaring and the average family will be £1,200 worse off under the Tories' tax plan.

"Britain needs change and a Labour government, not five more years of Conservative failure."