UK finance minister Hunt says he can't rush into tax cuts
LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said he wanted to lower tax rates for individuals and especially businesses in the longer term but warned it would take time because the economy needed to grow more quickly first.
Hunt, who is due to present his budget on Wednesday, said in an interview broadcast on Saturday that lower tax rates were only possible once the economy was on a sustainable path to growth.
"I want to bring down personal taxes, because that is at the heart of what being a conservative is, but I want to bring down business taxes even more," he told GB News. "We aren't going to be able to get there in one bound."
"What we're trying to do is to increase the productive capacity of the economy and a highly taxed, highly regulated economy has less productive capacity," he said.
Lawmakers in Hunt's governing Conservative Party want him to halt April's sharp jump in the corporation tax rate to help an economy on the verge of recession and which is the only one in the Group of Seven not to have recovered its size of before the coronavirus pandemic.
Hunt hinted that he would first look at measures to encourage business investment through incentives.
"For the manufacturing industry...those capital allowances work, so I would say, we do want to bring down our effective corporation tax, the total amount people pay," he said, referring to measures which allow companies to offset capital expenditure against their tax bill.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by William Schomberg)