The Liberal Democrats and Green Party have criticised the “out of touch” Chancellor after it emerged he has sought planning permission for a roof extension on his £1.7million London house.
Jeremy Hunt announced plans for almost £25 billion in tax increases and more than £30 billion in spending cuts by 2027-28 in his autumn statement on Thursday, as Treasury watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility reported the UK is in a recession.
Mr Hunt submitted a planning application to Westminster City Council in September, seeking approval for an array of works on his four-storey house in Pimlico, which has now sparked a backlash.
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said: “For many, the current economic crisis has left people choosing whether to heat their homes or put food on the table.
“But for the richest, life appears to go on in a completely normal fashion, as if they have been left entirely untouched by the economic uncertainty that everybody else is facing.
“The fact that there are many politicians who appear to be able to continue as normal as we enter a recession, while telling everybody else they must tighten their belts, suggests the people running the country are seriously out of touch.”
Liberal Democrats Cabinet Office spokesperson Christine Jardine added: “On the day of this cost of chaos Budget, the British public will judge the Chancellor on his policies, not his wealth or his home renovations.
“What everyone has seen today is eye-watering tax hikes and real-terms cuts to our public services while the country falls into a bleak winter recession.
“This is an out-of-touch Chancellor forcing everyone to pay the price for the Conservative Government’s incompetence.”
The planning application is for: “Erection of a mansard roof extension, with associated internal works. Minor alterations to the front vaults and alterations to fenestration at the lower ground floor, amendments to the front railings at ground floor level.”
An accompanying form names the applicant as “Mr Hunt”.
HM Land Registry records the address as owned by “Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt”, the Chancellor’s full name – stating it was last sold for £1,695,978 on January 6, 2010.
A heritage design and access statement submitted as part of the application states: “The owners would like to increase the amount of residential floorspace to make the property functional for a growing family.
“This includes making the existing bedrooms larger and remodelling the internal space.
“Part of this includes the adaption of the lower ground floor to incorporate a larger bedroom for the family, including provision for an aging grandparent who stays frequently.”
The status of the planning application is ‘pending’.
It was made before Mr Hunt became Chancellor last month.
The Treasury said it has nothing to add to what the Chancellor said in Parliament in his autumn statement.
Mr Hunt has been approached for comment.