Hunt sets out plan to boost economy and cut taxes
Jeremy Hunt has promised a package of measures to boost growth and cut taxes in a highly political autumn statement.
The Chancellor’s speech on Wednesday, delivered with an eye on a general election expected next year, said his plan will “raise business investment, get more people into work, reduce inflation” and increase the size of the economy.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has upgraded its growth forecast for gross domestic product – a measure of the size of the economy – this year, but downgraded the figure for subsequent years.
The budget watchdog’s forecast in March was for the economy to shrink by 0.2% in 2023, but that has now been revised up to 0.6%.
But in 2024 growth is forecast to be 0.7% rather than the 1.8% expected at the time of the Budget, 2025 is expected to see 1.4% rather than 2.5% and 2026 could be 1.9% instead of 2.1%.
Growth is then expected to go beyond the previous forecast, with 2% in 2027, slightly above the 1.9% predicted in March, with 1.7% in 2028.
Mr Hunt said universal credit and other benefits will increase by 6.7%, in line with September’s inflation figure, ending speculation the Government could have used the cheaper October figure.
Mr Hunt also confirmed the triple-lock formula for state pension rises would be implemented as usual, meaning the state pension will rise by 8.5% in line with average earnings, worth up to £900 more a year.
He said: “After a global pandemic and energy crisis, we have taken difficult decisions to put our economy back on track.
“We have supported families with rising bills, cut borrowing and halved inflation.
“Rather than a recession, the economy has grown. Rather than falling as predicted, real incomes have risen.
“Our plan for the British economy is working. But the work is not done.”
In other announcements, Mr Hunt:
– Promised £7 million over three years for organisations to tackle antisemitism.
– Said national debt was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility to be lower than previously expected in every year of the forecast through to 2028-29.
Published: by Radio NewsHub