‘Budget for growth’: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt rolls pitch for Spring statement
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said his spring statement will be a “budget for growth” as he prepares to set out key measures to support firms and families with the cost of living crisis.
Hunt will make his annual budget statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
He is expected to focus on efforts to remove barriers to employment, drive investment and support high-growth industries, in what has been dubbed a ‘back to work’ budget.
It follows months of economic turmoil following the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine and energy crisis; and city chaos after Liz Truss’ calamitous mini-budget.
After Truss sacked Kwasi Kwarteng from the Treasury, she was forced to appoint Hunt into the role, who swiftly took steps to calm markets and restore financial stability.
He was forced to slash spending and raise taxes in a bid to reestablish Britain’s credibility.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak, who replaced Truss when she stepped down after 45 days in office, continued efforts to return the economy to a position of strength.
What will Hunt say in his budget for growth?
The Chancellor will tell MPs: “In the autumn we took difficult decisions to deliver stability and sound money.
“Today, we deliver the next part of our plan: a budget for growth. Not just growth from emerging out of a downturn.
“But long term, sustainable, healthy growth that pays for our NHS and schools, finds good jobs for young people, provides a safety net for older people, all whilst making our country one of the most prosperous in the world.”
Sunak has made five key pledges to the public, including halving inflation, growing the economy and cutting debt as a share of GDP, which the budget will be key to achieving.
Hunt will say: “Today I deliver that by removing obstacles that stop businesses investing; tackling labour shortages that stop them recruiting; breaking down barriers that stop people working; and harnessing British ingenuity to make us a science and tech superpower.”
Measures will focus on helping Brits back into work, with childcare costs set to be paid to parents on Universal Credit upfront, as well as packages for disabled and 50+ workers.
Reforms to energy bills will see those on prepayment meters no longer charged a penalty when compared to consumers on monthly direct debits.