Rishi Sunak says raising taxes was 'the last thing he wanted to do'
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Mr Sunak is looking to address the growing cost of living crisis in his Spring Statement to the House of Commons this coming Wednesday. This was all but confirmed by Rishi Sunak today, as he announced new support is being drawn up. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the Chancellor emphasised what his “mission” going forward would be.
While the final Budget plans have yet to be finalised, it is believed that the Chancellor will introduce cuts to income tax and fuel duty as part of the wider package.
In his interview with the Mail on Sunday, the Chancellor emphasised what his “mission” going forward would be.
Mr Sunak explained: “I want people to be reassured that I am on their side, I have got their back and I’ll stand with them.
“My priority over the rest of this Parliament is to cut people’s taxes. That is my mission. Let’s not be spending any more money – let’s make sure the money we’re spending is spent really well. That’s got to be the focus, because otherwise it’s hard to cut taxes.”
READ MORE: Council tax reductions explained: Who is eligible to pay less and how to claim
This pledge of more tax cuts come as inflation is forecast to rise to around eight percent in the second quarter 2022 Q2, and maybe by even more later in the year.
The Bank of England has voiced concerns that inflation could increase even further by the end of 2022 by “several percentage points”.
Only last month, inflation was predicted to hit a peak of 7.25 percent which means it could reach double-digits by the end of the year.
The growing worry over skyrocketing inflation has been compounded by the global energy bill crisis.
Industry regulator Ofgem announced earlier this year that a rise in the energy price cap would see bills soar by £693 a year for the average household in the UK.
This bill hike originated due to external pressures on the wholesale gas market and the collapse of many UK-based firms, which has meant households have less options to choose home as their expenses continue to go up.
However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Putin’s regime have exacerbated the energy bill crisis.
In his interview, Rishi Sunak outlined the expense of sanctions on the country while also maintaining the Government’s continued support for Ukraine.
“The steps we have taken to sanction Russia are not going to be cost-free. We were already building up some challenges around inflation,” he said.
“Those have only been exacerbated by the actions that lots of countries have taken to send a very strong signal to Putin about his aggression in Ukraine and you will see that reflected in the numbers.
“I am never going to shirk away from my responsibility to make what are difficult but ultimately, I think, the right decisions to ensure that this country has economic security both today and into the future, so that we have the resilience to respond to shocks like this.
“And I’ve made those decisions so that we are, quite frankly, in a good position now when you look at how many people are in work, how businesses are growing, and how the public finances are improving.
“The planned cost-of-living unit would scrutinise any new policy or additional spending requests ‘through the prism of the cost of living.”
Also writing in the Mail on Sunday, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves criticised Rishi Sunak for his decisions during his time as the Treasury.
Ms Reeves said: “’He claims he wants to be a low-tax Chancellor, but actions speak louder than words.
“In the past two years, he’s put up taxes more than any Chancellor in the last 50 years, with 15 increases so far.
“Britain is the only major economy raising taxes as the cost of living crisis bites.”
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