Jeremy Hunt insists non-doms are good for the economy as he warns of two challenging years – UK politics live | Politics

Jeremy Hunt insists non-doms are good for the economy

Jeremy Hunt was questioned why he did not do anything about the non-dom tax status. The chancellor said the Treasury did not give him estimates on how much abolishing the non-dom tax status would raise, but added he would rather the super rich “stayed here and spent their money here”.

The Chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

They said to me that they were very unsure about the figures that were being bandied around, as far as the savings were concerned.

Like me they wanted to be very sure they weren’t doing things that damaged the UK’s attractiveness. These are foreigners who could live easily in Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, they all have these schemes. All things being equal, I would rather they stayed here and spent their money here.

Pressed whether the Treasury gave him a figure on how much abolishing the status would bring in, he said:

No, because we don’t agree with the figures that Labour have given.

The Treasury did not tell me it was going to help the economy to do this, that’s why I chose not to do it.

I’m not going to do anything that’s going to damage the long-term attractiveness of the UK, even though it gives easy shots to opposition parties, I think it would be the wrong thing to do in terms of creating jobs in the UK.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said that Labour would have got rid of non doms, and made different tax decisions such as VAT on private school fees and going bigger on windfall taxes.

But she told Sky News she is “pleased” about the decisions the Government made on the triple lock and benefits, but said she was still concerned with energy bills rising.
Challenged about the budget containing many measures Labour should like, Ms Reeves said:

I didn’t feel like that. I’m really worried about what’s going to happen to people’s living standards from April.

She said Labour would not be laying out specific proposals for the economy until the next election, but added:

Even if you have a difficult fiscal inheritance, and we know that a Labour government will have that due to the choices the Conservatives have made, you can still make different choices and prioritise different things.

Key events

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Faisal Ali

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that Spain, Ireland, France and other neighbouring countries had similar tax arrangements for non-doms and that he wanted to avoid making sweeping changes to encourage them to settle and spend money here.

Here’s the clip in which he was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if he knew how much taxing non doms could raise.

He said he didn’t believe Labour’s figures and was told by the Treasury that it would not help the economy. He didn’t say whether or not the Treasury had its own figures.

Jeremy Hunt avoids question about whether the treasury has figures on non-dom taxes – video

Meanwhile on Sky News, shadow chancellor Rachael Reeves criticised the government’s unwillingness to change its policy on the tax status of non-doms in the UK.

Reiterating a line of attack she brought up yesterday in her response to the chancellor’s autumn statement, Reeves told Sky News that taxing non-doms could raise up to £3.2bn which could be used to “invest in the NHS workforce.”

Here’s the clip from Reeves in parliament yesterday:

Rachel Reeves criticises chancellor for not changing non-dom tax rules – video

Hunt said UK needs ‘unfettered trade’ with European Union

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has conceded that Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit deal has caused damaging trade barriers with the European Union, as he said immigration will be “very important” for the economy.

Hunt insisted the UK would find a way to improve trading ties with the EU without rejoining the single market.

His comments came after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said Brexit caused a “significant adverse impact” to trade volumes and business relationships between UK and EU firms.

Asked if rejoining the single market would boost growth, the Chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

I think having unfettered trade with our neighbours and countries all over the world is very beneficial to growth.

I have great confidence that over the years ahead we will find outside the single market we are able to remove the vast majority of the trade barriers that exist between us and the EU. It will take time.

Pressed on the single market, he said:

I don’t think it’s the right way to boost growth because it would be against what people were voting for when they supported Brexit which was to have control of our borders and membership of the single market requires free movement of people.

So I think we can find other ways that will more than compensate for those advantages.

Hunt insisted that immigration is required to boost growth.

There needs to be a long-term plan if we’re going to bring down migration in a way that doesn’t harm the economy.

We are recognising that we will need migration for the years ahead – that will be very important for the economy, yes.

Resolution Foundation says ‘hard to see’ how spending cuts will be delivered

The Resolution Foundation’s research director has said Jeremy Hunt’s cuts do not appear achievable, saying unprotected departments would face George Osborne-style “2014/15 levels of austerity”.

Research director James Smith said:

They don’t look obviously deliverable. If you take the spending cuts that are in place and subtract out the protected departments like health and defence, you end up with really big falls in those unprotected departments.

Hard to see how given the legacy of austerity, given public sector wages are already lagging behind and given this is effectively tying the hands of governments, it’s really hard to see how those will be delivered.

Smith added that Thursday’s autumn statement had seen the biggest deterioration in forecasts since the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was launched in 2010 due to the “damage” from higher interest rates.

What we saw yesterday was the biggest deterioration in the overall forecasts since the OBR started producing these forecasts.

What is doing the damage here is higher interest rates.

Higher inflation and higher interest rate costs are both doing damage to the fiscal position.

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis said the “honest truth” is people need to be looking at their finances to budget and plan for next spring ahead of a “very difficult year ahead”.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Lewis said:

Look, I mean the Chancellor has at least been upfront that we’re in for a very difficult year ahead.

So what everybody has to do is take the help they’ve been given and on everything else, the honest truth is you have to look at your own finances.

You should be budgeting and planning now for next year, seeing what room you’ve got and making sure you’re being as efficient as you can on everything.

There is a point out there, and this is not to abrogate responsibility from government from protecting people, but if you’re not going to be protected because that is the situation, or your not getting help, this is the time to look at your own finances and see what you can do to shimmy and shape them into a little bit better style.

It won’t solve everything but it might make things a bit easier.

Lewis added that he met the Chancellor earlier this week where he pushed hard for mortgage flexibility and forbearance for the “squeezed middle” ahead of spring.

He told LBC Radio:

We will see next spring we are going to have this perfect storm of energy bills going up, cost of living continuing to rise and energy bills at their peak. My concern is what do we do to get people over that hump.

He said he had “pushed hard for there to be some improvements in the flexibility and the forbearance in mortgage packages such as mortgage holidays and temporarily extending repayment terms.

He said he discussed with the chancellor calling a mortgage summit with the regulator and big lenders to discuss how they are going to get people through next spring.

That was an important section missing in the budget yesterday but I’m thinking what the Chancellor wants to do is solve that through the private sector by pushing and encouraging the private sector to make changes and I’m pushing and encouraging the Chancellor to make sure he does that.

We’re looking at interest rates in the UK at 5% and that means higher mortgage rates when people come off their (fixed-rate mortgages) next spring – What is he going to do to protect those in the squeezed middle with mortgages and paying private rents?

Richard Hughes, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said it had been more optimistic with its forecasts than the economic projections from the Bank of England because it believes households will draw on their savings to help them spend more.

He told PA:

Our forecast is in line with other forecasters and the bank is more of an outlier on the downside.

One reason we are more optimistic is that lots of households built up savings during the pandemic – we believe households might draw down on these to fill the gap.

The Bank of England assumes that savings don’t fall but plateau.

We think that people might dip into their savings as a form of consumption.

We think if ever there was a time when they would dip into savings, it is now, which might support consumption when incomes are falling to bridge the gap as their real earnings start to recover.

Jeremy Hunt insists non-doms are good for the economy

Jeremy Hunt was questioned why he did not do anything about the non-dom tax status. The chancellor said the Treasury did not give him estimates on how much abolishing the non-dom tax status would raise, but added he would rather the super rich “stayed here and spent their money here”.

The Chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

They said to me that they were very unsure about the figures that were being bandied around, as far as the savings were concerned.

Like me they wanted to be very sure they weren’t doing things that damaged the UK’s attractiveness. These are foreigners who could live easily in Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, they all have these schemes. All things being equal, I would rather they stayed here and spent their money here.

Pressed whether the Treasury gave him a figure on how much abolishing the status would bring in, he said:

No, because we don’t agree with the figures that Labour have given.

The Treasury did not tell me it was going to help the economy to do this, that’s why I chose not to do it.

I’m not going to do anything that’s going to damage the long-term attractiveness of the UK, even though it gives easy shots to opposition parties, I think it would be the wrong thing to do in terms of creating jobs in the UK.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said that Labour would have got rid of non doms, and made different tax decisions such as VAT on private school fees and going bigger on windfall taxes.

But she told Sky News she is “pleased” about the decisions the Government made on the triple lock and benefits, but said she was still concerned with energy bills rising.
Challenged about the budget containing many measures Labour should like, Ms Reeves said:

I didn’t feel like that. I’m really worried about what’s going to happen to people’s living standards from April.

She said Labour would not be laying out specific proposals for the economy until the next election, but added:

Even if you have a difficult fiscal inheritance, and we know that a Labour government will have that due to the choices the Conservatives have made, you can still make different choices and prioritise different things.

Hunt defends delay to social care cap

Jeremy Hunt has said it was not “easy” for him to delay the social care cap, which he insisted he “passionately did not want to do”.

The decision to delay the cap until October 2025 has been criticised by the economist behind the plan. Sir Andrew Dilnot, who advised several conservative governments on fixing the care sector, said he was “astonished, puzzled and deeply disappointed”.

He added that the government had now broken a 2019 manifesto promise to “fix social care” and implement changes that were finalised a year ago. They included raising the amount of assets a person can have before getting state funding for social care from £23,250 to £100,000 as well as capping lifetime care costs at £86,000.

This morning Hunt told BBC Breakfast: “I don’t pretend this was an easy thing for me to do given what I said in 2013 but it does mean we can give overall a bigger increase to social care than it’s ever had in its history.

“Some of those decisions are very hard for me as chancellor. I’m a Conservative chancellor that has put up taxes, I’ve had to delay those Dilnot reforms to social care which is something I passionately did not want to do.

“But I’m doing it because we face an international economic crisis and I recognise that people are worried about the future and I’m prepared to do difficult things even if they’re things I wouldn’t personally choose to do, because they’re the right thing for the country.”

The shadow chancellor was also out and about this morning to lay out Labour’s alternative to Tory budget plans.

Rachel Reeves told BBC Breakfast Labour would tax “the better off to pay more to ease that pressure on ordinary people”.

PA Media carries her quotes:

The most important thing is to grow the economy because that is the way to lift living standards for everybody.

“And what we saw in the numbers yesterday was that living standards are going to fall by the biggest amount for more than 70 years.

“The International Monetary Fund is predicting that the UK will have the slowest growth in the next few years of all of the big industrialised economy because there is no serious plan from this government for growth and that I think is the big difference between Labour and the Conservatives.”

Resolution Foundation: UK workers will miss out on pay rises worth £15,000

Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement will mean Britain’s workers will miss out on pay rises worth £15,000 over the next five years as the chancellor’s tax-heavy budget pressures the nation’s “squeezed middle”.

Figures published alongside the Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on Thursday by the Office for Budget Responsibility said the UK was in a recession that would wipe out eight years of growth, with British households set to face the biggest fall in living standards since records began.

The Resolution Foundation thinktank said on Friday that the dire economic outlook means that real wages are now not expected to return to 2008 levels until 2027.

If pay had continued to grow at the pre-crisis peak, workers would be £292 a week, or £15,000 annually, better off over the next five years.

You can read the full story here:

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Reactions to Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement dominate the UK’s front pages on Friday – and my colleague Jonathan Yerushalmy has done a round-up.

The Guardian’s goes with “From bad to worse” and reports that the chancellor’s £30bn of delayed spending cuts and £25bn of backdated tax increases “laid bare the country’s dire economic predicament”.

The i splashes with “UK’s lost decade”, and what the paper calls the “biggest drop in living standards on record … sending British earnings back to 2013”.

Its report says the country is paying the price for “Putin’s war in Ukraine, the pandemic, Brexit policies and Liz Truss’s damage to market confidence”.

Usually reliably sympathetic to the Tory party, the Daily Mail turns its ire on Hunt’s budget with the headline “Tories soak the strivers”.

The paper’s political editor reports that the overall tax burden will be pushed to its “highest level since the second world war”, “with highest earners hardest hit”.

The verdict of the paper’s star columnist, Sarah Vine, is carried on the front page: “And there was me thinking we’d voted in the Conservatives!”

The Telegraph, too, is blunt in its assessment, quoting an economist in its headline: “‘The rhetoric of Osborne … with the policies of Brown’”.

The paper’s main story says that Britain’s welfare bill is to rise by almost “£90bn after Jeremy Hunt shielded benefit claimants and pensioners from soaring inflation with a raid on workers”.

The Tory peer and former Brexit negotiator David Frost writes in a front-page opinion piece that the “ship has been steadied – but we’re all left with less money of our own.”

The Mirror’s headline simply reads “Carnage”. The paper quotes shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves as saying that “all the country got today was an invoice for the economic carnage that the government has created”.

Tomorrow’s Paper Today:
💥CARNAGE
🔴Millions to feel deep pain after Tory hell Budget
🔴Energy bills & joblessness rise, house prices fall
🔴Drop in living standards is the worst since 1956
🔴Hunt and Sunak hail moves and shirk any blame#TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/UoQ2RWmC3c

— The Mirror (@DailyMirror) November 17, 2022

The Times writes that as the chancellor seeks to balance the books, there will be “years of tax pain ahead”.

The Financial Times carries a similar headline with “Hunt paves way for years of pain,” quoting the chancellor as saying: “We need to give the world confidence in our ability to pay our debts.”

Scotland’s Daily Record harks back to another era of Tory rule with the headline “You’ve never had it so bad”, as does Metro.

The Record says that after 12 years of Conservative rule the UK faces its “biggest-ever clump in living standards” as well as a “surge in unemployment and a year-long recession”.

The Express is able to find some good new in it all, however. Splashed on to a full-page image of Hunt, the paper claims “Victory” in its campaign to secure a 10.1% increase in the state pension, saying it will “help millions cope with the cost-of-living crisis”.

Jeremy Hunt says next two years will be ‘challenging’

Welcome to the politics blog. Jeremy Hunt has been doing the morning media round to defend his autumn statement and has warned that the next two years will be challenging.

The UK chancellor appeared on Sky News the day after announcing that millions more people will pay more in tax and spending cuts of £30bn.

The chancellor said his plans would help get the economy “on an even keel”, but added: “Over the next two years it is going to be challenging. But I think people want a government that is taking difficult decisions, has a plan that will bring down inflation, stop those big rises in the cost of energy bills and the weekly shop, and at the same time is taking measures to get through this difficult period.”

We’ll bring you the latest news and reactions on the autumn statement. Here’s what’s coming up today:

9am: The Resolution Foundation will publish its take on Hunt’s measures.

10.30am: The Institute for Fiscal Studies will present its findings.

1pm: The Institute for Government has an autumn statement event, which will be attended by the OBR’s Richard Hughes.





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