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Hammond hints at tax rises and end to austerity

Hammond hints at tax rises and end to austerity

Chancellor Philip Hammond, has hinted at tax rises to help fund an end to the government’s austerity programme after admitting the public were ‘weary’ of spending cuts.

In interviews on Sunday Hammond (pictured) said the government was ‘not deaf’ to the message delivered by the general election.

He said: ‘people are weary of the long slog’ but indicated extra spending would need to be funded using tax rises, claiming a deficit of 2.5% of GDP was ‘not sustainable in the long term’.

‘We never said we won’t raise some taxes,’ he said.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show Hammond said he had change the fiscal targets of his predecessor George Osborne which created ‘a lot more flexibility to respond to the situation on the ground.’ Adding though that the country still needed to ‘live within our means’.

He ruled out any Summer Budget – a possibility following an election as was the case in 2015 – saying there would be a regular Budget in November in which the government would ‘set out our future plans for public spending, for taxation, for fiscal balance and everything else that needs to be clear.’

Speaking on Peston on Sunday Hammond gave his view on the Conservative’s recent election campaign. ‘It was a mistake of the campaign not to focus more on an area where we have a great story to tell, a record on the economy since the great recession rebuilding this economy over the past seven years,’ he said.

He said that making the timetable for deficit reduction longer, into the middle of next decade ‘gives us more space to respond to what is happening in the economy.’ 

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