Jeremy Hunt Admits Putting Taxes Up By £20 Billion A Year In Embarrassing Own Goal

Jeremy Hunt delivers his speech accusing Labour of planning to put up taxes.
Jeremy Hunt delivers his speech accusing Labour of planning to put up taxes. Leon Neal via Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt admitted putting up taxes by £20 billion a year - as he claimed a Labour government would put up taxes.

The chancellor’s embarrassing own goal came as he answered questions after a major speech in London.

Hunt published Treasury-backed documents accusing Labour of having a £38 billion black hole in their spending plans.

He said: “Labour has no plan to pay for their spending commitments and so will have to put taxes up by at least £2,094 for every working household.

“They must come clean with the British people and explain whether they will raise income tax, national insurance or VAT to fill the £38.5 billion blackhole in their plans.”

However, his attack was undermined when he said: “I had to put up taxes by £20 billion a year in the Autumn Statement 22.”

That was the emergency fiscal event in which he had to undo the unfunded tax cuts announced in the previous month’s mini-Budget by his predecessor as chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Hunt insisted that the Tories had also been forced to put up tax to pay for the cost of pandemic-era schemes such as furlough, and to help consumers with soaring energy bills as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He said: “As we know global shocks have sometimes forced Conservative governments to do the same, as I did in the Autumn Statement of 2022.

“But Conservative governments never do so by choice. And we have never accepted such decisions need to be permanent.”

However, he failed to mention the fact that the tax burden has reached an 80-year high on his watch.

A Labour spokesperson said: “This is another desperate attempt by the Tories to deflect from their £46 billion unfunded tax plan that could lead to higher borrowing, higher taxes on pensioners or the end of the state pension as we know it.

“All of Labour’s policies are fully costed and fully funded. Unlike the Conservatives who crashed the economy, Labour will never play fast and loose with the public finances.”