Chancellor's Fiscal Event Will Be "Game-Changing" Cabinet Minister Claims
The Chancellor's financial statement will be "game-changing" says Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke (Alamy)
The government's much-awaited fiscal event will be “game-changing”, a Cabinet minister has claimed, predicting new interventions would stimulate “growth” and “protect the living standards of those at all points on the income spectrum”.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to confirm a number of tax cuts in his statement to the Commons on Friday – in addition to the pre-announced scrapping of the National Insurance rise.
Liz Truss had promised to reduce the tax burden throughout her Conservative leadership campaign this summer, a pledge she has reiterated since becoming prime minister.
Some of those cuts – such as scrapping green levies on energy bills and the NI rise – have already been confirmed, but there were also pledges to not introduce any new taxes and make other changes elsewhere.
Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke said the speech would show the Government is focused on the “real drivers of growth” and will demonstrate Truss’s leadership promises turning into action.
He said that the measures to be announced in the so-called ‘Growth Plan’ would ensure that “alongside clearly a major programme of government investment that we focus on the real drivers of growth”.
“That is to say reducing the burden of tax facing [...] businesses,” he told Sky News.
“That is something which the Prime Minister put at the heart of the leadership campaign this summer, and today we're gonna see that translated into action through what I think will be a really important game changing financial statement.”
It is also expected that Kwarteng will provide further detail on how the Government will pay for the energy bill support schemes that have been introduced for both households and businesses, as prices have soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Clarke believes that the current global situation means that Kwarteng will take “robust action” to ensure growth.
"We've seen that the war in Ukraine is likely to persist, I fear for a long time to come, and the ramifications for the economy are profound," he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.
"It is vital against that declining backdrop globally, that we take the most robust action that we can to strengthen growth at home.
“I think the action on National Insurance which is very welcome, is only one of a number of measures that the Chancellor will be setting out today to stimulate growth and to make sure that we achieve [...] a much more sustainable level of trend growth, which will in turn, better support public services.”
Clarke also sought to defend the plans amid claims that people who are better off are set to benefit most, claiming that “we have to break away from an analysis which is at times focused only on distributed distribution, and not on actually the size of the pie”.
He told the BBC: “In the end, growth is a good thing for the whole of society. And it will protect the living standards of those at all points on the income spectrum.”
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