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Monday, November 20, 2023

Same old, same old

Any notion that the appointment of David Cameron as foreign secretary would put the Tory party firmly back into the centre of British politics must surely have been rebutted by the speculation that followed soon afterwards regarding the Chancellor's autumn statement.

The Guardian reports that Jeremy Hunt may well be using next week’s autumn statement to announce pre-election tax cuts for the wealthy while overseeing a multibillion-pound stealth raid on the incomes of 36 million workers.

The paper reports on analysis by the Resolution Foundation thinktank that found that cutting inheritance tax – which is paid by fewer than 4% of all estates, affecting largely the richest in society – could be financed by a gargantuan £40bn raised from freezing income tax thresholds, which would in turn leave millions of low paid workers worse off.

They say that Hunt is also weighing up cuts to benefits, drawing an angry response from union leaders and charities who warned the chancellor risked ignoring the pressures facing millions of households amid the cost of living crisis:

Adam Corlett, the principal economist at the Resolution Foundation, said the government’s six-year freeze in income tax thresholds had “turned from an £8bn ‘stealth’ tax to a gargantuan £40bn tax rise” because of higher inflation.

“Any pre-election tax cuts – such as cutting inheritance tax for a small number of wealthy estates – would effectively be funded by higher taxes on the incomes of 36 million people,” he said.

It is the same old Tories after all.
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