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Rishi Sunak says his ‘mission’ is to cut taxes ahead of spring filing

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Foreign Minister Rishi Sunak has said the goal for the rest of the government’s term is to cut taxes, ahead of his spring statement on Wednesday (Justin Tallis/PA) (PA Wire)

The Chancellor says his goal for the remainder of the Government’s term is to cut taxes, ahead of his spring declaration on Wednesday.

“My priority over the rest of this Parliament is to cut people’s taxes. That is my mission,” Sunak said.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Sunak alluded to a spending realignment, rather than big new allocations.

“Let’s not spend any more money, let’s make sure the money we are spending is being spent really well,” he told the newspaper.

“That has to be the focus, because otherwise it’s hard to cut taxes.”

Sunak will make his spring statement, an economic plan in response to the latest economic forecasts, on Wednesday amid spiraling inflation and cost-of-living issues.

With the war in Ukraine and UK sanctions on Russia making those problems worse, Sunak warned that his statement would include “challenging” projections.

It’s unclear if any changes will be made to the national insurance hike set to kick in next month, which Labor says will only worsen the cost-of-living impacts.

Sunak also told the newspaper that he supported exploring a “safe way” to lift the ban on fracking for shale gas in the UK amid the current crisis.

It comes as the Sunday Telegraph reported that the Prime Minister and Mr Sunak clashed over the latter’s opposition to a push to increase the number of nuclear power plants in the UK.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, the Treasury and Downing Street together announced an “efficiency crackdown across Whitehall” that it says will cut £5.5bn worth of waste and funnel the savings into vital public services.

The Treasury said the NHS annual efficiency target would be doubled to 2.2% as part of the crackdown.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor were reported to have clashed over the latter's opposition to a push to build more nuclear power plants (UK/PA Parliament) (PA Media)

The Prime Minister and Chancellor were reported to have clashed over the latter’s opposition to a push to build more nuclear power plants (UK/PA Parliament) (PA Media)

He projected the move would free up £4.75bn to fund NHS priority areas over the next three years.

The Treasury said the savings would be achieved through measures including the digitization of services, improvements to surgical centers and digital tools to reduce time spent on administrative tasks.

“The current level of waste across government is simply not acceptable, which is why we are doubling down on wasteful spending and launching an efficiency drive to save £5.5bn,” Sunak said.

A further £800m was predicted to come from a review of “Quangos” or independent bodies, organizations publicly funded but not fully controlled by the government.


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