Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is preparing to announce tax cuts, business investment measures, and a tougher stance on welfare in the upcoming autumn statement. Laura Trott, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, stated that the fall in inflation indicates that “we have turned a corner.” Official figures prior to the Chancellor’s statement show that while government borrowing in October exceeded expectations, the year-to-date figure remains below forecasts. The autumn statement is expected to focus on boosting business investment and employment. Trott defended plans to encourage people off welfare, emphasizing the “duty” of those able to work.
The plans could involve individuals with mental health or mobility issues searching for home-based work. According to reports, benefits may be reduced by £4,680 a year from 2025 as part of stricter welfare rules. Trott asserted that citizens able to work have a duty to do so, with support available for those facing challenges.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has raised expectations of tax reductions, with the tax burden currently at its highest in 70 years due to Covid-19 response and Ukraine war-related expenses. Inflation has halved, meeting Sunak’s target, and real wages are now ahead of inflation for three months. Trott suggests the possibility of tax cuts for individuals, focusing on growth. Figures show public sector net borrowing at £14.9 billion in October, higher than forecasts, but year-to-date borrowing is below official predictions.
Labour attributes working-age unemployment to the Tories, emphasizing their responsibility for the situation. Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liz Kendall accuses the government of trying to evade responsibility for the issue.