Jeremy Hunt has said taxes need to be lower and revealed that his Autumn Statement this week will include measures to boost economic growth.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer told GB News: “I’m not going to talk about the measures that I’m going to be announcing to Parliament on Wednesday because I have to announce those to Parliament first, and rightly so.
“But there is a very big dividing line between us and the Labour Party on tax and I do believe that if we’re going to be a dynamic, thriving, energetic fizzing economy, we need low tax and we need taxes to be lower than they are at the moment.
“And the reason I believe that is if you look around the world, the most dynamic successful economies at the moment are in North America and Asia, where they tend to have lower taxes.”
WATCH NOW: Jeremy Hunt preview of autumn statement
Speaking to Camilla Tominey, he continued: “There’s no getting around this, taxes have gone up in nearly all countries and our taxes are still lower than places like France, Germany and Italy because we’ve had a once in a century pandemic and 1970s-style oil shock.
“But the difference is that we do want to bring them down and Labour put up taxes in every single one of their 13 budgets.
“Conservatives cut taxes when we responsibly can. So let me tell you, I’m not probably going to tell you what measures I’m going to do, but let me tell you my approach. First of all, we’re not going to do anything irresponsible.
“Particularly by which I mean anything that fuels inflation, because we had a big victory last week when we delivered the Prime Minister’s pledge to halve inflation. When he and I came into office it was over 11 per cent, now it’s 4.6 per cent.
“People watching at home, their number one concern they say in poll after poll is the cost of living crisis. This makes a difference. So we’re going to do this responsibly.”
Hunt said: “And then the second thing is, my priority on Wednesday is growth.
“Because having made good progress on inflation, we can move to the next part of our plan, which is to unlock much higher levels of growth and I will say this to you coming, because I know you’ve written about this before there is far too much negativity, pessimism and decline-ism about the British economy. We have got a lot going for us.
“I’ll give you one example. We have got a technology sector that’s the third biggest in the world after the United States and China. Technology is going to shape all of our lives, we do it really well. You know, if we’re going to get taxes down, growing the economy is part of the solution but it’s also part of the way that we can afford to get taxes down as well.”
Hunt said: “We all know why it went up. We had the invasion of Ukraine and a massive spike in energy prices and food prices globally. When you’re faced with 11.1% inflation, as Rishi Sunak and I were when we arrived in Downing Street, the Government does have to take very difficult decisions alongside the Bank of England to bring it down
“What I had to do a year ago, in a frankly, very, very difficult Autumn Statement for a Conservative Chancellor, is I had to put some taxes up, I had to cut spending because I had to get borrowing under control, because you can’t get inflation down if you’re pumping money into the economy, that actually fuels higher prices.
“So we’ve had to play our part in the government to get to where we’ve got to, and we don’t want to throw that away now we’ve made such good progress.”
Jeremy Hunt has said taxes need to be lower and revealed that his Autumn Statement this week will include measures to boost economic growth
The Chancellor added: “You were talking about tax thresholds going up in the beginning of this interview, Camilla, and when I took those decisions on tax, I thought it was fair that the pain was evenly balanced amongst businesses and amongst individuals.
“I wanted to spread those difficult decisions fairly but I do actually agree with you that one of the most important things for us as a country is to make sure that our taxes are competitive and an area that doesn’t frankly win you any votes but is very important, which is business taxes.
“We need businesses from all over the world to say the UK is a great place to set up a business, a great place to invest in. You’ll be hearing lots from me on Wednesday about how we can remove barriers to business investment.
“One of them we’ve announced today actually we’re going to completely overhaul the planning rules, because I meet businesses up and down the country who say it just takes a ridiculous amount of time to get planning approval. We’re going to say if local authorities don’t meet their statutory timelines, they give businesses the money back and they process the application free of charge.
“So we are going to do a lot of things that I hope will make a big difference.”