Welsh Secretary defends £25 billion of tax rises introduced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his autumn budget
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies has defended the £25 billion of tax rises introduced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his autumn budget earlier this month.
Mr Hunt also promised £30 billion of spending cuts, which independent analysts said would mean a prolonged squeeze on public sector pay despite a growing clamour in many services for real-terms increases after the years of austerity.
Writing in the Abergavenny Chronicle, Mr Davies, the MP for Monmouth, said: “I fully understand the anger about tax rises, but I must respectfully point out that the alternative is huge public spending cuts.
“If anyone, including any of the other political parties have a magic idea that will enable the government to cut taxes and increase spending without borrowing more money then I would love to hear it.
“It is absolutely right that the Government has committed to helping the most vulnerable households face the challenges of the cost of living with over £12 billion of additional support being announced in the Autumn Statement.
“The Energy Price Guarantee has been extended until April 2024 which will support every household with the increasing costs of energy. I also welcome the decision to protect the pensions Triple Lock by increasing the State Pension and Pension Credit in line with inflation.”
Mr Hunt set out his plans against the backdrop of a bleak set of economic forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), which said that rampaging inflation as a result of soaring energy prices meant living standards are set to fall by 7% over the next two years – taking them back to where they were in 2014.
According to the OBR, the UK economy is predicted to contract by 1.4% next year, unemployment is expected to rise by more than 500,000 while taxes are set to reach their highest level as a share of national income since the end of the Second World War.
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