British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has indicated that the government might not have the same capacity to implement significant tax cuts in the upcoming budget in March compared to the last budget update in November.
While Hunt did make a permanent tax break for company investment and reduce payroll taxes in the autumn budget update, he hinted in an interview with ITV that it could be difficult to achieve similarly large-scale cuts in the spring budget, which is due on March 6.
Hunt emphasized that the final numbers for the budget are uncertain until a couple of weeks before its announcement and mentioned that, at present, it doesn't seem likely that he will have the room for substantial tax cuts, as he did in the autumn. The Chancellor acknowledged that the government goes through a process before every budget where the final numbers are not known until shortly before the announcement.
Amid polls indicating the Conservatives trailing the Labour Party ahead of a potential upcoming election, Hunt has been hinting at the possibility of further tax cuts to stimulate economic growth. However, he clarified that no final decisions on tax cuts have been made, and discussions with the Prime Minister are still in the early stages.
The government's stance is to continue cutting taxes where it is financially feasible, according to a statement from Sunak's spokeswoman earlier in the week. Despite this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cautioned against tax cuts, citing high public debt levels and increasing demands on services. The IMF's warning came on Tuesday, urging the UK government to exercise caution in implementing tax reductions.
As of now, it remains uncertain what measures will be included in the March budget and the extent of any tax adjustments as the government navigates economic challenges and political considerations.