Parliament erupts as Hunt slaps down Labour

Autumn Statement: Jeremy Hunt takes aim at Labour over growth

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt dealt a blow at Labour MPs who were mocking him for claiming his plan would boost the UK’s economy. As Labour members were booing the Chancellor, Mr Hunt delivered a scathing attack on the Opposition. While presenting his budget to the Commons, he put into question the Labour Party’s own commitment to British growth in a fiery slapdown.

Speaking in the Commons, Jeremy Hunt said: “Let’s start with a difficult message for the party opposite, you cannot borrow your way to growth.

“Sound money is the rock upon which long-term prosperity rests. But it isn’t enough on its own.

“Our plan is to build a high, wage economy that leads to prosperity.

“Today’s increase in education budget demonstrates our commitment.”

 

The Chancellor continued: “We are not alone in facing these problems, but today our plan reflects British values as we respond to an international crisis.

“We are honest about the challenges and fair in our solutions.

“Yes, we take difficult decisions to tackle inflation and keep mortgage rises down but our plan also leads to a shallower downturn; lower energy bills; higher long-term growth; and a stronger NHS and education system.”

The Chancellor presented his long-awaited Autumn Statement to bring the country on a path to recovery in the aftermath of Liz Truss’ mini-budget that sent the economy reeling and brought the pound to an all-time low against the dollar. 

Among the measures, he pledged the party’s commitment to the pensions triple lock, the freezing of allowance for another two years and the cutting of the threshold for the 45p rate.

He announced he would reduce the 45p rate of income tax from £150,000 to £125,140 in a move that will see about 250,000 people pulled into the top bracket.

He also said he will increase the NHS budget by an extra £3.3bn in both 2023/2024 and 2024/2025.

Before his address to Parliament, he had warned the budget would involve “difficult decisions” to tackle the economic climate but he pledged his plan would create a “stronger, fairer United Kingdom”.

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In a major U-turn, Jeremy Hunt also announced he would increase windfall tax in the budget to raise an extra £14billion.

Energy companies will see their levy increase from 25 percent to 35 percent from January 1, 2023.

He also confirmed the national living wage would increase to £10.42 from April next year, a 9.7 percent increase from the current £9.50 an hour rate.

The budget comes a day after the ONS revealed inflation has reached 11.1 percent to a 40-time high.

The pound fell against the dollar as Mr Hunt announced his budget. The UK’s economy is heading for a recession.

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