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Politics news latest: ‘Clear choice’ at next election, Hunt says – as Tory party told to be

We are now speaking to Jeremy Hunt live on Sky News, and he is asked first about the vast tax burden, even after yesterday’s two percentage point cut to national insurance.

“I don’t deny for one second we had to put taxes up,” the chancellor says, citing the COVID and energy price shocks.

But he says the economy has “done much better” and is “much stronger” than predicted.

He goes on to say it’s “right to make a start in bringing down taxes”, and the ones he reduced yesterday – notably business taxes – will “help businesses grow”.

Asked by Kay Burley why the personal tax allowances were unfrozen and increased in line with inflation, he says he chose to give businesses “one of the most generous capital allowances” to boost investment into the UK.

“I chose the tax cuts that are going to make us competitive – that is the way we will raise living standards for families up and down the country in the long term,” he says.

It is put to the chancellor that polling shows increasing funding for public services is more popular than tax cuts, but there was nothing in the autumn statement on that front yesterday.

Mr Hunt replies: “We haven’t chosen the most populist tax cuts. I think it’s silly to think about this in terms of the timing of the next election – we’re trying to make the right decisions for the long-term growth of the British economy.”

He says growing the economy is the way to have more money to invest in the NHS over the long term.

Read Nore:Politics news latest: ‘Clear choice’ at next election, Hunt says – as Tory party told to be