The Chancellor has said that there are challenges for the government with their finance ahead of the autumn statement and warned the “numbers are definitely worse than what I faced in the spring.”
Jeremy Hunt said that at the moment we are in a “very challenging environment” and insisted that he has a “great deal of confidence” for the longer-term outlook.
Hunt attended the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings and speaking to Sky News in Marrakech, Morocco he said we will “take the difficult decisions necessary.”
He said that the government’s debt interest “is likely to be £20 billion to £30 billion higher this year than we predicted in the spring.”
Hunt was asked about the upcoming autumn statement and if there will be any good or bad news, he said, “I think it’s a bit of both. I think the British economy compared to when I became Chancellor a year ago has proved to be much more resilient than nearly every international organisation predicted, and people are looking at some of the underlying strengths.”
He added, “In the short term, we have challenges. We have a challenge with inflation, which is still too high. And we have the challenge of the international environment where there is still a lot of shocks.
“So I need, as Chancellor, to focus on reliance in the face of those shocks. I am very much hoping for the best, but I do need to prepare for the worst, because I think we can see that the world is a very dangerous place right now.”
The Chancellor was then asked about the economic numbers and are they worse than expected, he said, “The numbers are definitely worse than what I faced in the spring.
“Our debt interest is likely to be £20 billion to £30 billion higher this year than we predicted in the spring. So yes, it’s a very challenging environment in the short term.
“But my approach to this is to say we will manage those short-term pressures whilst at the same time building for the long term, doing the things that mean that we can be confident we will be a successful and prosperous economy going forward.
“And as I look at the exciting things that are happening in the longer term in the British economy, I have a great deal of confidence providing we take the difficult decisions necessary to get inflation down, to get our borrowing back under control. If we do these kinds of things then we can be very confident of our future.”