Sunak wants more private sector investment and training
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will today promise to deliver a Spring Statement that creates “a new culture of enterprise, with the private sector training more, investing more, and innovating more.”
In comments issued by the Treasury ahead of today’s statement, Mr Sunak raised expectations that he will continue with a number of tax reliefs for business.
The CBI has called for an extension of the super deduction while the Federation of Small Businesses wants him to terminate it as planned next March as it believes it only helps big corporations.
Mr Sunak said his statement will be designed to build “a stronger, more secure economy” and offer further help for households struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.
He will pledge Britain’s “unwavering” support to Ukraine and say that a stronger economy is vital in responding to the threat of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In his address to MPs at lunchtime, Mr Sunak is expected to say: “We will confront this challenge to our values not just in the arms and resources we send to Ukraine but in strengthening our economy here at home.
“So when I talk about security, yes – I mean responding to the war in Ukraine. But I also mean the security of a faster growing economy.
“The security of more resilient public finances. And security for working families as we help with the cost of living.”
It is thought Mr Sunak may extend the rebate on energy bills and cut fuel duty by 5p a litre. He is unlikely to scrap the 1.25% rise in national insurance contributions from April, insisting that it will provide vital funds for the NHS. However, he may raise threshold at which contributions begin.
He is also expected to reject calls for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, but will demand more and faster investment in the transition to green technologies.
The Spring Statement will build on government support worth around £21 billion this year and next to help families with the cost of living.
The Government is also raising the National Living Wage to £9.50 per hour from April, meaning people working full time on the National Living Wage will see a £1,000 increase in their annual earnings.
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden said: “The Chancellor may say he “believes” in low taxes – but the hard facts show that Sunak has hit households and business with 15 tax rises in two years in post.
“Rishi Sunak has increased taxes more than any Chancellor in half a century. He should use today to scrap his planned national insurance rise.
“Over a decade of Tory Government, the economy has grown far slower than when Labour was in power, and it is set to grow even slower in the coming years.
“If the Tories had matched Labour’s record on growth in Government, businesses would have grown faster and people would have had higher incomes, boosting the public finances.
“It is because the Conservatives are the party of low growth, that they are now the party of high tax.”
SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss said: “Rishi Sunak has become the poverty Chancellor. At a time when families face the biggest blow to living standards since the 1970s, Mr Sunak is pushing people further into poverty and hardship by hiking taxes, slashing Universal Credit, and scrapping the pensions triple lock.
“The Chancellor must stop making excuses and bring forward a major package of support to reverse the damage the Tory government is causing to household incomes and tackle the Tory cost-of-living crisis.”