秋季聲明。亨特計劃削減數十億開支以修復英國財政

2週前
秋季聲明。亨特計劃削減數十億開支以修復英國財政

關於這樣做的緊迫性和必要性,有一場經濟辯論,但本屆政府採取的立場是,當亨特先生本周日參加我們的節目時,我們無疑會聽到他說,他們沒有選擇。

對能源公司的利潤徵收更高的稅,也可以持續那麼久--而不是作為一次性的意外稅。政府引入的能源利潤稅預計也將從25%增加到35%,一些發電商也將不得不首次支付。

這些都是將產生重大影響的重大決定,但政府的希望是籌集所有的現金將使他們能夠將福利和養老金的增長與通脹相匹配。一位部長告訴我,如果財政部長本周沒有給出這一保證,他們會感到 "非常驚訝"。這事關重大。

因此,對於政府部門來說,堅持預算並不意味着堅持同樣的情況。而且,這不會變得更容易。財政大臣可能會宣布,2025年以後,政府部門只能期望預算每年增加1%。這將是政府如何切分蛋糕的一個重大變化。

除此以外,這些計劃的影響是,保守黨將在下一次選舉中承諾提供一個不那麼慷慨的國家版本。就瑞希-蘇納克的本能而言,現在似乎很難想象這一點。


There is an economic debate about the urgency and necessity for doing so but the position this government takes, that we'll no doubt hear from Mr Hunt when he's on our show this Sunday, is that they have no choice.

A higher levy on the profits of energy firms could also run that long - rather than as a one-off windfall tax. The Energy Profits Levy introduced by the government is also expected to increase from 25% to 35% and some electricity generators will have to pay for the first time too.

Those are big decisions that will have big consequences, but the hope in government is raising all that cash will allow them to match rises to benefits and pensions with inflation. One minister told me they'd be "very surprised" if the chancellor didn't give that guarantee this week. There's a huge amount at stake.

So for government departments, sticking with the budget doesn't mean sticking with the same situation. And it won't get easier. The chancellor is likely to announce that beyond 2025, government departments can only expect budgets to rise by 1% every year. That would be a big change in how the government slices up the pie.

Aside from anything else, the implications of these plans are that the Conservatives will go into the next election promising a less generous version of the state. For all Rishi Sunak's instincts, that seems hard to imagine right now.

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