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Monday, March 20, 2023

UK’s Self-Proclaimed ‘Scrooge’ Promises Tax Hikes, Spending Cuts | business news

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Treasury chief warned Sunday of a looming spending crisis and tax hikes for cash-strapped Britons as he tries to fill a “black hole” in the country’s finances.

Billing himself as a Scrooge figure ahead of Thursday’s Autumn Statement, when he will update Parliament on the government’s budget measures, Jeremy Hunt said he was forced to make “very difficult decisions” in his bid to rein in inflation. and put the economy back on a balanced level. keel.

He told British broadcasters that he was determined to make the expected recession as shallow as possible and warned that everyone could expect to pay more taxes.

“I am a Conservative chancellor and I think I have been completely explicit that taxes are going to go up, and that is a very difficult thing for me because I came into politics to do the exact opposite,” he told the BBC. , using his official title, Minister of Finance.

Hunt is seeking to save up to 60 billion pounds ($71 billion) and additional revenue in a bid to tighten public finances and undo some of the damage economists say was done by his predecessor, Kwasi Kwarteng, and former Prime Minister Liz Truss. . .

According to the Resolution Foundation, a think tank, Truss and Kwarteng spent £20bn on unfunded cuts to national insurance and stamp duty, with another £10bn lost due to higher interest rates and borrowing costs from the government.

Hunt said he would carry on his predecessor’s promise to help Britons with rising energy bills, but added that government departments could expect cuts.

He previously told The Sunday Times in an interview: “I’m Scrooge, who’s going to do things to make sure Christmas never gets cancelled.”

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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