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Hunt declines to guarantee tax cuts

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Hunt declines to guarantee tax cuts

Jeremy Hunt has declined to give a “cast-iron guarantee” of tax cuts, while insisting the tax burden would go down under a future Conservative government.

He also claimed Labour’s economic plans would lead to tax rises and accused the Opposition of attempting to scare pensioners with lies about national insurance.

Following a speech in London in which he sought to draw dividing lines between the two main political parties, the Chancellor was asked if he could guarantee that taxes will fall.

He said: “If you’re saying can I look into a crystal ball and predict what is going to happen in the world in the next five or 10 years, and therefore give you a cast-iron guarantee of when we will be able to reduce the tax burden and to what level, the answer is of course I can’t, and it would be irresponsible to do so.”

But he also signalled a desire to cut taxes further in the autumn, following the 2p cut to national insurance at the spring budget, and to scrap national insurance altogether in the future.

“If we can afford to go further responsibly to reduce the double tax on work this autumn that is what I will do,” he said.

“Because over time we make no apology for wanting to keep cutting the double tax on work until it is gone, but only when we can do so without increasing borrowing and without cutting funding for public services or pensions.”

Mr Hunt also hit out at Labour’s claims that scrapping national insurance would mean a £46 billion funding gap, and lead to higher taxes on pensioners, telling the audience: “Frankly it is a lie.”

He added: “I don’t make any bones about it. It is fake news and it is an absolute disgrace to try and win this election by scaring pensioners about a policy that is not true.”

A Labour spokesperson said the speech was “another desperate attempt by the Tories to deflect from their £46 billion unfunded tax plan that could lead to higher borrowing, higher taxes on pensioners or the end of the state pension as we know it”.

They added: “All of Labour’s policies are fully costed and fully funded. Unlike the Conservatives who crashed the economy, Labour will never play fast and loose with the public finances.

“Jeremy Hunt would be better spent getting Rishi Sunak to confirm the date of the election, rather than putting out any more of these dodgy dossiers.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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