Autumn Statement: Key announcements from Jeremy Hunt
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt shared his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons on Thursday, November 17, announcing his plans to put the nation’s finances on a “balanced path to stability”. However, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found the majority disagree with his plans, arguing that they do not go far enough to help people.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that UK households’ disposable incomes will fall by 7.1 percent over the next two years.
Mr Hunt said he “tried to be fair” by asking those “with more to contribute more” and avoiding tax rises that “most damage growth”.
The package includes £30billion in spending cuts and £24billion in tax rises over the next five years which he argued would lead to a “shallower” recession for the nation.
Some of the measures announced include the higher rate of tax (45p) being payable from £125,140, as opposed to £150,000. The National Living Wage was increased from £9.50 an hour for those over 23 to £10.42. In addition, the state pension will rise by 10.1 percent in line with September’s inflation figure, upholding the triple lock.
Mr Hunt also announced an additional £2.3billion annual investment in schools for the next two years and a £3.3billion increase in the NHS budget for each of the next two years.
In a poll that ran from 12:30pm on Thursday, November 17, to 10am on Friday, November 18, Express.co.uk asked readers their thoughts on the Autumn Statement. First readers were asked: “Are you happy with Jeremy Hunt’s Budget?”
A total of 5,035 people responded with the vast majority, 68 percent (3,429 people) answering “no” they were not satisfied with the announcements.
Whereas 30 percent (1,516 people) said “yes” in support of the financial measures and two percent (90 people) said they did not know.
Next, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you think the Budget goes far enough to help people?” This question was answered by 4,959 readers with the most popular being “no” the Budget does not go far enough, receiving 63 percent of votes(3,137 people).
Meanwhile, 31 percent (1,519 people) said “yes” Mr Hunt’s measures are enough and a further six percent (303 people) said they did not know either way.
Then Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you support public spending cuts?” Some 5,020 people cast their votes for this question with the majority, 56 percent (2,811 people) responding “yes” in favour of public spending cuts.
In addition, 39 percent (1,971 people) said “no” against cuts, while five percent of voters (238 people) said they did not know.
Finally, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you agree with Jeremy Hunt’s tax rises?” This question garnered 5,014 responses with almost two-thirds of readers, 65 percent (3,275 people) answering “no” against taxes rising.
A further 33 percent (1,645 people) said “yes” in favour of Mr Hunt raising taxes and two percent (94 people) said they did not know.
In the hundreds of comments left below the accompanying article readers debated the new measures brought in by Mr Hunt and the impact they would have on the cost of living crisis.
The majority of readers were against the new measures, with username bobpage commenting: “No, it’s an assault on living standards that is not necessary.”
Similarly, username Anon1000 wrote: “It punishes yet again the hard-working British citizens.”
Username neveranswered added: “As usual, the working person taxed again.”
While username SanjayP said: “This budget does nothing for growth. This budget does nothing for tax cuts. This budget does nothing for government spending cuts. This is not a Conservative budget.”
And username vicnkaz wrote: “This is probably one of the worst budgets we’ve had for years.”
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However, some readers were more accepting of the Autumn Statement with username ninemadcats writing: “As a pensioner I am very happy with 10.1 percent increase but feel for middle earners who I believe will be hardest hit.”
Another, username ShminkyPinky, said: “I’m pleased for pensioners, but totally against rewarding the workshy when there are so many vacancies out there.”
Others referenced the impact of the pandemic spending on the economy in their arguments. Username Sisyphus48 said: “We are in crisis and tough decisions need to be made.”
And username Stillhere wrote: “I understand what he has done and why he has done it. What I totally disagree with is what he does with that money.”
Others argued that a general election should be called to give the public a chance to have their say, with username slidenbiden stating: “Time for a GE.”
Username brightspark said: “I will never vote Tory again. They have been a total disaster for this country. Call an election if you dare and let the people have their say.”
And username pikestaff wrote: “Just get rid of this terrible Government.They have been asleep at the wheel for years and sold us out.”
The next general election is due to be held no later than January 2025, completing the five-year term former Prime Minister Boris Johnson won for the Conservatives in December 2019.
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