The Chancellor has warned that difficult decision have been made for this week’s budget and described himself as “Scrooge who is going to do things that make sure Christmas is never cancelled.”
Speaking to The Sunday Times there will be a number of tough measures to try and fill in the £55 billion black hole and there will be tough cuts.
Jeremy Hunt said, “I think it’s fair to say this is going to be the first rabbit-free budget for very many years.
“I’m sorry to disappoint but, no, this is not going to be a time for rabbits, I’m afraid.”
The Bank of England has warned that the UK could be in a recession for two years which is the longest ever recorded since records started in the 1920s.
The economy contracted by 0.2% between July and September and if the economy shrinks in this current quarter then the UK will be officially in a recession.
On Thursday Hunt said that he will publish the forecast from Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) which is most “likely to present a similar picture.”
The Chancellor added, “The question is not really whether we’re in recession, but what we can do to make it shorter and shallower.”
The Times has said that the Chancellor is expected to announce on Thursday’s autumn budget:
- The freezing of thresholds and personal allowances for income tax, national insurance, VAT, inheritance tax and pension for another two years.
• The tax-free allowance for capital gains tax will be halved.
• The 45p additional rate of income tax from £150,000 to £125,000 threshold will be reduced.
• The windfall tax on oil and energy companies could rise by 10 points to 35%, which will be extended by three years, and apply to electricity generators for the first time in history.
Hunt added, “We have to be honest with people; it’s not possible to subsidise people’s energy bills indefinitely.
“What I can promise people is that I will be honest about the scale of the problem, and fair in the way that I address those problems, and yes, that does mean that people with the broadest shoulders will bear the heaviest burden.
“Britain is ultimately a fair country, a compassionate country, and we want to make sure that people can pay for their fuel bills this winter… and that is going to be very challenging for people on low incomes.”
Speaking to Sky News Sophy Ridge on Sunday the Chancellor was asked if there could be a return back to austerity, Hunt said, “They are going to be very difficult decisions but we are a resilient country and we’ve faced much bigger challenges frankly in our history.
“We know that to deal with problems you have to face into them not run away from them and we’re also a compassionate country and so a plan that I outlined to the House of Commons on Thursday will be one that gets us through these difficult times but also shows that British compassion, the support for these vulnerable people.
“Probably the single thing that is the biggest worry to people on low incomes, actually to everyone, is the rising cost in bills, energy prices going up and so we will outline a plan to hold down the rises in energy prices and chart out way to a longer-term world in which we’re not dependent on what Putin does.”