Rishi Sunak hinted at further tax cuts to come today as he used last week’s Autumn Statement to launch a “sales pitch” to global investors at an elite investment summit in London.
Speaking at Hampton Court Palace, the Prime Minister leant on last week’s ‘booster-ish’ fiscal plans from the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and suggested that more tax cuts could be on the way.
“I believe that [by] allowing you to keep more of the return on your capital, our country becomes more competitive as a place to invest, grow and create jobs,” he told a room of some 200 chief executives from banks including Barclays and JP Morgan.
“And make no mistake, we are cutting taxes.”
Sunak said he would be launching a “sales pitch” for the UK at the second Global Investment Summit.
Minsters announced last night that some of the world’s top businesses had committed some £30bn in fresh investment to the UK across areas including tech, life sciences and renewable energy.
Among the major investments were £10bn from Australia’s IFM Investors on energy and infrastructure schemes and £7bn from Spain’s Iberdrola, which will focus on the UK’s electricity networks.
Sunak’s pleas to bosses today may signal a push to slash more taxes after Hunt’s spending plans last week.
The Chancellor revealed a package of cuts focused on business last week, including a permanent extension of full expensing to allow businesses to claim back on the cost of investment.
But some have hit back at the plans for widespread ‘stealth taxes’ that will hit the country. The overall tax burden is on track to reach a post-Second World War high as frozen tax bands drag millions into paying higher rates.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves also took aim at fluctuating policy over the past 13 years, saying that business had been exposed to “yo-yo” like tax policy and uncertainty.
“We welcome the fact that the Chancellor has announced permanent full expensing – another thing we’ve been calling for,” she wrote in response.
“But that doesn’t make up for the years of uncertainty that businesses have faced with taxes going up and down like a yo-yo. With small and medium businesses, who play such a pivotal role in growing our economy, left exposed to the Tories’ economic volatility.”